Tidy Mind,Tidy Stitches - 2KCBWDAY3

My knitting organisation is non-existent at the moment. We moved back in September, and I still haven't actually organised my craft and knitting stuff. It is all kept in the corner of the spare room, but there is no order to the chaos.

So instead of just showing you a picture of clear plastic tubs overflowing with yarn, a little set of draws filled with notions, and piles of stuff currently in use, I thought I would show you my favourite organisation thing.

It is this little drawstring bag I made to keep in a small project, I use it to take my current pair of socks to my knitting nights, or on the bus. I fell in love with this knit themed fabric from Aunty Cookie. I have a metre of it, and all I've used is this tiny scrap. I want to one day make a super-dooper knitting bag and use this fabric as a feature.

Anyway, I try to keep in this bag a pair of small scissors, a tape measure, some stitch markers and a wool needle. Usually, these things have been taken out, and all that is in there currently is a tape measure and a couple of stitch markers rattling around in the bottom!
I really do love this little bag, every time I look at it, it makes me smile. Maybe I should make a few more, one for each currently unfinished sock (see last post!)?
WIPknitbag closeup
Close up of Aunty Cookie Knit 1 fabric

Skill + 1UP - 2KCBWDAY2

On day 2 of the Knitting and Crochet Blog week, we are talking about what skills we have learnt in the past year. This is a difficult post for me, because I don't think I have gained any new skills. In my first year of knitting I was pretty fearless, and tried cables, entrelac, lace, felting, using charts and working in the round. The following year I learnt to use the Magic Loop and knit socks,with all the skills that they entail (short rows, turning the heel, kitchener stitch and working on teeny tiny needles).

There is still a lot for me to learn but I have got to a level where I can do most things, so haven't taken the next step to keep challenging myself with new skills. This happpened when I was studying Japanese. I got to level where I could understand basic conversation and day-to-day topics, and make myself understood, so I lost motivation to keep going. I was nowhere near able to have a proper conversation with people, and had a lot to learn, but since I could get by, I stopped studying.

The skill I would most like to aquire is the ability to complete a project, especially a pair of socks. I have to date completed two pairs of socks.

unfinished socks

These are the unfinished socks I found after diving in my stash bin for a couple of minutes. I'm pretty sure there is one or two more somewhere! I think the next pair I start will be two at a time, which would be a new skill, and hopefully result in a finished pair. You can see that I often get to the toe decreases and give up. Why? Because I see a new project, life gets busy, I forget where I'm up to in the pattern, hundreds of reasons, no, excuses.

Now that I've got these out and all together, I'm going to throw them in a basket, and try and work on some of them.

To see other blogs with posts about learning new skills, check out this link.

A Tale of Two Yarns

My absolute favourite yarn is Noro. Noro Kureyon, Noro Silk Garden, Noro Sock... any Noro at all! I love the colours and colour changes in each skein, you never know what you are going to get!
silk garden CU

Some people think that the yarn is rough. Well, it certainly isn't soft. And it can break easily. Sometimes there is a knot tying together two completely random colours. And sometimes there is just one ugly or weird colour among other gorgeous colours. But all of these faults is part of Noro's charm!

I've used it in quite a few different projects: socks, the booga bag, Rosedale sweater (99% completed, just need to put in the zipper, doh!) and a scarf. I just love knitting with it!

There hasn't really been a yarn that I've hated. Most yarn has a purpose, or a use somewhere, and it is up to us to find out how it would best be used. Sometimes the project we have in mind isn't right for the yarn, but there is something out there that is. Even cheapy acrylic looks good in afghans!

The only yarn I have sad feelings toward is this Rowan Summer Tweed:
Summer tweed

I received it in a swap and absolutely loved it. Loved the colours, loved the feel and texture (it is a silk/cotton mix) but could just not find a project for it. I did a few swatches, but nothing was quite right. This was in the days before Ravelry, maybe now I would find something (actually I daren't look!). Anyway, in the end, after holding onto it for a few years, I moved from England to Australia, and I gave it to one of the girls in my knitting group (I gave away a lot of my small stash, just couldn't justify sending across to the other side of the world).  I hope she made something beautiful with it.

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

I'm participating in the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. Each day there is a topic for blog posts, and lots of people are involved, so you can read lots of blogs with the same topics. Shoud be fun!

Envy Neck-warmer

I wanted a quick, easy project and Envy fit the bill. It had everything I liked, seed stitch, cables, and was a really cute pattern. Check out the photos with the pattern, they are fantastic!

This was really easy, only cast-on with 20 stitches and an easy cable patten. I didn't use a cable needle for it. I knit it on 8mm bamboo needles instead of 9mm, since that was what I had and I didn't want to buy another pair of needles, I don't knit bulky stuff very often.

I used Morris Fuel, which is a 100% bulky wool in a gorgeous bright purple, used just over one 50g skein. It isn't plied, but was easy to knit with, didn't split much, it looked like it may have broke if I pulled tightly, but I knit this very loosely since I was on smaller needle and I didn't have any problems.

I did make button holes, it is meant to have three big buttons, but I didn't have any suitable buttons in my stash. I've used this bright red flower brooch I got for Christmas for the time being, and I really like it. If I see some nice buttons, I'll grab them and put them on. I'm not sure whether to get buttons to match or to contrast the purple.


Don't look too closely, as you can see I haven't weaved in the ends yet!

My Creative Space

My creative space is on the couch, in front of my laptop.

I am still working on the Baudelaire sock, I have just done the heel and am now starting on the leg. I am loving the lace pattern, now I have to start incorporating the cable as well.


The book I'm reading is Agatha Christie's autobiography. It is so interesting. I love the way she writes, and it is really evocative of time and place. I've just finished the section on her childhood (I suddenly noticed that I was already up to page 88 and she was still only seven years old!), I love all the information she provides, and explains how families lived their lives during that period (late 1800, early 1900s).

I bought this book at North Sydney Markets, the second-hand book variety was great! We went last weekend for the first time and I ended up buying two other books as well: The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh (which I have wanted for ages, I have a slight obsession with the Mitford sisters), and Love Among the Butterflies by Margaret Fontaine, excerpts from a diary written by a Victorian woman.

Check out other creative spaces at Kootoyoo!

Postcard Swap

I've signed up for iHanna's postcard swap, I watched it last year, and have decided to go for it this year.

I love postcards, I still send them to people every time I have a trip. I think it's sad that no one send post cards anymore, I'd much rather receive a beautiful picture postcard from a friend who has gone overseas, than a crappy souvenir that I will keep in a box (cos I find it hard to throw away gifts!).

Anyway, I am looking forward to creating, sending and then receiving some postcards!
If you'd like to sign up, go to iHanna's blog and check out all the info. The sign up date is 18th of March, 2011, and the postcards are sent on 8th April.


I can't believe the devastation in Japan caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

I lived in Japan for over two and a half years between 2002- 2005. I was on the JET programme, and lived in Fukuoka, Kyushu, which is in the south. So quite far away from where the disaster has happened, but still... the images bring back so many memories. My ''anxious' dream (you know, the dream you have when stressed or worried, some people dream of going to school naked or in their PJs, others running late for an important meeting or appointment, or of falling) has always been of watching a tsunami coming towards me, and not being able to escape. I've had this recurring dream since I was a child. So I can't watch too much of the footage as I find it absolutely horrifying.

I'm thinking of everyone in Japan, I don't pray, but I hope that Japan can get through this and my heart goes out to anyone affected by this.

Lawsons Yukata
Me with friends on my last night in Japan


I've been working on the Ripple Afghan for a while now, I wanted a bright blanket for my lap when sitting on the couch in winter. We try not to use much heat (and luckily in Sydney, don't really need much). So on cold winter nights, I like to snuggle up with a hot water bottle and a cup of tea.


The colours are so nice and bright, I'm sure they will cheer me up! I've got one more skein of each colour to go, and I've used 2 of each so far. I'm lazy at the moment, but I'll post the brand and colours when I've completed the blanket. I think its just superwash DK weight from Lincraft.

Baudelaire and tea

I've been doing quite a bit of knitting, and I'm really enjoying it again, I think I got back my knitting mojo!

This is Baudelaire from Knitty:

The lace pattern is lots of fun; as usual, it took me a few attempts at the start, but now I've got it and am happily following the chart whle watching Lost in Austen on ABC iview. It's so lovely, the premise sounds a bit crazy (modern girl in love with Pride and Predjudice goes back in time and becomes involved with all the characters), but it is done really well, and has some really good moments in it, the casting is excellent too, even Mr Darcy. I actually like the Wickham in this one better than the BBC mini series. I found that Wickham was quite sleazy and although that is how he was in the novel, I thought he wouldn't have been that obvious, or Lizzy never would have fallen for him.

Anyway, back to knitting! The yarn so far is lovely to knit with, the slight changes in colour are gorgeous and add interest.

Hopefully this sock won't fall victim to 'one sock syndrome', I really feel like I am on a roll with it.

This is what it look like on my foot.
It was my first time to do the toe-up method, you can see it looks a bit pointy. That may not be so obvious when it's finished, but even if it's not, I don't mind, it is still a pretty sock and they are going to be used to wear indoors when it's cold anyway.

Embroidery project

I've got so many projects on the go at the moment: Knitting socks, crocheting a blanket, and I've also started this embroidery.

I had to spend some time away from home, and left at very short notice, so I didn't have anything crafty to do. I have been wanting to try some embroidery recently, I did use to do it when I was very young. Mum used to sign us up to classes at the Embroiderer's Guild during school holidays, and I still have the bag I made.

Anyway, while I was away, I bought this kit, and started stitching. I'm not really loving the pattern, but I didn't have much choice. I am enjoying the stitching and seeing the picture emerge.

Making really little stitches is quite meditative, and definitely less thinking than when knitting or crocheting, as you don't have to keep referring back to a pattern or even try and work out where you are. Sometimes, I pick up a piece of knitting, and it takes me a few minutes to work out where I am. And then, sometimes the reason I stopped was because I made a mistake and was too tired to fix it. So I have to work out where I'm up to, what I did wrong, fix it, and THEN I can knit. So as you can imagine, this puts me off!

But with the embroidery, I just pick it up and go!

Baudelaire Socks

I've cast on!

I'm knitting Baudelaire, designed by Cookie A. It's a free pattern from Knitty.

I'm using a beautiful yarn I bought in Sheffield, England over Christmas:
Ranco Araucania Multi

It is toe up, so that is a new method for me, have almost finished the toe, and looking forward to starting the lace pattern.

Things I liked this week

  • This blog post in Gertie's New blog for Better Sewing about Fitting it all in. I love to hear how people with full time jobs fit in so much sewing/ craft and then time for blogging about it! One thing she mentions is that she goes to bed about midnight. Unfortunately, I can not function well on little sleep, I need to go to bed about 10-10.30!
  • This amazing time lapse amigurumi video from Craft. So cute and creative.
  • This info on Interfacing from U-handbag. This will be very useful when I start to design and create my perfect bag.