Blood & Roses


and herewith the medals it was awarded in the Rav coughmutter* Games

pattern: Holden Shawlette available free on Ravelry here

yarn: Zauberball in Charisma [ supposedly a sock yarn but it’s an unplied singles so not something I would consider sturdy enough for socks, plus … too pretty ] from the Wool & Sheep Show haul 2012

needles: 4mm KPs and no coming apart dramas

started during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics [ July 28th 6.30am ]

finished knitting August 2nd [ blocked and ends sewn in August 4 ]

and I’d love to be able to tell you that I planned to have the colour changes in the yarn fall exactly in line with the garter stitch rows dividing up the lace … but no, that was just the way it decided to happen. Ditto for having the darkest part of the yarn form the border. Sometimes the gods of knitting are smiling, and just maybe they thought they owed me one after the saga of the cursed jacket.

* happily appropriating Nadie’s phrase. Ravellenic Games …pffft … they’re the bloody Ravelympics.


Stretching her wings

Every so often a pattern will go viral through the knittingverse. Usually it’s available free, or really cleverly constructed, or quirky. Something about it just catches the attention and says ” make me … now!”

Wingspan is one of those patterns

and when The Girl decided to make one, as a step up from phone covers and other small things,I thought I’d be a good mum [ picture the maternal halo shining brightly ] and give her some brilliantly jewel toned Noro Silk Garden Sock [ lambswool, silk, kid mohair and a bit of nylon ] out of the stash.

Noro is funny stuff.

People either love it or hate it.

I love it … most of the time

Brilliant colours, long tonal changes, great fibre mixes … but [ I know you just heard that but coming ] … strangely coarse until its first wash, often full of vegetable matter, and, rather strangely, in my view, for a high price point yarn – often sporting mutliple knots-per-ball which interfere with the colour sequence, usually because a whole section’s been omitted.

Still I had three balls and she only needed one, so it was a safe bet that we could work around any joins.

Of which there was one.

Which we coped with,

and Nadie got to practice her Russian joins.

She actually finished it a few weeks ago, but I haven’t blogged about it because I was waiting for her to pop it on her own blog.

Hasn’t happened.


Just gorgeous, yes ?

Anyway, because of her wrist injury, The Girl works slowly, with rest breaks, and this wasn’t whipped up anything like overnight.

When it was finally done, she handed it to me for, I thought, help with weaving in the ends.


It’s mine


I should probably make sure that she always has ‘the good stuff’ to work with … just in case.

A shawl, some kids and a bare Bear

You probably already are aware  that I’ve recently finished the ‘Hair Of The Dog’ shawl from my handspun alpaca/ samoyed / polwarth wool yarn.

I quite enjoyed making it, and certainly enjoyed the challenge of spinning samoyed wool, but there are limits to how many shawls a woman can actually wear so I’d decided that it needed to belong to my goats-and-gardens friend Brenda.

So Nadie, Bear and I were heading that way yesterday for a spot of lunch with the promise of ancillary brand new baby goat snuzzling.

About the time the Girl was putting on her farm tramping shoes, I realised that I didn’t yet have a photo of the finished shawl, so that was speedily remedied

and then I couldn’t resist taking one of the ‘Hair of the Dog’ with his hairy beariness who, of course, didn’t stay still long enough for my stooooopid camera but you get the idea.

Much goat snuzzling ensued, Nadie took pics of the new kids, Brenda cooked us a great lunch, and Bear came home heavily scented with  Eau-de-Goat Poo, which lasted about as long as it took me to throw him in the shower.

Net result: one extremely fluffy canine distinctly unimpressed at the enforced bath when he had one only last weekend.

Then last night I got a call from the dog groomer to see if I’d like to bring him in this morning instead of next week.

Forecast for today? 33C ! so yes please!

The sooner all that hair was off, the better … but … did I mention that part of the whole grooming thing involves a b-a-t-h ?

Someone was distictly underwhelmed

Did I remember to get a good shot of him pre haircut? asked Nadie when I got back … erm … ahh … that would be a no.


and then we went back a couple of hours later to a completely unrecognisable – but much cooler – canine

Here he is being beary unimpressed


I mean what he-dog wants to come home wearing a sissy red bow and smelling like a French tart ?


Drum Roll Please Maestro

I have just spent the last few minutes writing out slips of paper bearing the names  [ in multiples of $10 donation ] of all those wonderful people who supported the Castlemaine Relay for Life.

Only one person was going to take home the Forest Canopy Shawl

and that lucky person is …

[ drum roll ]

Merv Carr

who has four lovely daughters, any one of whom would probably love to relieve him of the shawl.




Friday Night

This was the scene at the Opening Ceremony for this year’s Castlemaine Cancer Council Relay for Life.

Apologies for the darkness  and graininess of the footage but it was taken in full dark with just my little point-and-press cheapie camera

The current total *raised by our little team of disabled adults, their parents / Carers, and support staff is slightly over $500 [ $200 above our goal ]

Of that Nadie and I – with your help – raised $330.

So many thanks to everyone who has donated.

I’ll blog about the experience tomorrow as well as announcing the person who will be taking home the alpaca lace shawl.

You still have time to donate, and to be in the drawing for the shawl if you’d like to [ link in the alpaca shawl post above ]

* The 14 teams involved have , so far, raised $16,000+ dollars and the final total will be higher, as this only counts the monies actually banked before the Opening Ceremony.

A finished object … and a good cause

This shawl was finished a couple of weeks ago, but of course, then it needed blocking and the ends sewn in. The blocking was accomplished last week, and, thanks to the weather, took 4 days to dry. If I’d waited to block it until breakfast yesterday, when it was heading to 30 degreesC, it would have been dry by lunch.

Anyway, it’s all done now, ends sewn in, and modelled by Nadie with assistance from His Beariness.

The pattern is – of course – my default setting, the Forest Canopy by Susan Lawrence. According to my Ravelry projects page, this is the eighth time I’ve made this one. I actually thought I’d made more of them but eight is a respectable tally.

This time around I used SWTC Inspiration yarn which is 50% Alpaca / 50% soysilk on 5mm KP Harmony needles.

The original colours of the yarn were a perfectly nice, pale green called  Success that I’d bought in Tara’s destash, and an equally nice grayed mauve called Memories bought from Ecoyarns. Nothing wrong with those colours at all, except that they weren’t what I wanted for this project, so I overdyed them all with a mix of Landscapes Ice and Marine. I will admit that it was a bit of a gamble because I had no idea how the soysilk would accept the dye, and the result is a bit softer and heatherier than if I’d done the same to pure alpaca or wool in those base colours.

I like it. The soysilk adds a soft sheen to the warmth of the alpaca.

But I’m not keeping it. This one has been made with a very specific goal in mind, which is where you all come in.

If you’d like to have it all for yourself or someone you love VERY VERY much, all you need to do is pop over to either my page or Nadie’s for next month’s Cancer Council Castlemaine Relay For Life, and make a donation of $10 or more before November 11.

For every $10 donated to the cause of Cancer Research through either of our pages, I’ll enter your name into a draw for the shawl. Donate more and you’ll get extra entries.

BTW I’ll happily post anywhere in the world.