Friday, May 30, 2014

... and on the subject of colour

With about 3cm left of the beastly black's ribbed collar/front I draped it around me and realised that it almost reached my knees.  Extrapolating from that I found that the raglan sleeves would start at about waist level which is not at all what I want so I have stopped knitting the 72 inches of ribbing just a bit short but as the instructions suggest putting the stitches onto a stitch holder so that I can make adjustments later if needed I have left my options open.

Looking as the skeins of beastly black which I have left to finish the jacket it seems to me that I may not have enough yarn.  Black is black and easy enough to get a close match even if it means knitting the sleeves from a different dyelot so I went to the Trans-Tasman site to see how much or little I would have to buy.  They no longer quote amounts so I will have to get in touch with their Australian representative or go over to Bilby Yarns and order it there.

But  -  the Trans-Tasman lot no longer have black corriedale!  Looking at their colour range I had a choice of Liquorice or Jellybean, both of which looked black. But which one?  I eventually found a list with American translations and, in Yankese, liquorice is called black so I will be able to match up extra fibre if needed.  But I may have to get a whole kilo again.  It took me five months to spin the first kilo and my heart quails at the thought of having to spin more.

And that, of course, brings me to my aubergine bump, also a kilo.  Will I have enough to knit the Charlotte Onedin sweater which I am planning  or should I order more of it now so that I can blend the dyelots in before I spin.  A little bit of integral variation in the colour could be attractive so maybe I should just bite the bullet and order another bump of each of them.  I can always use it;  I look on the corriedale as the sort of bread and butter of spinning  -  what I use if I need a large amount.  I wish that they sold BFL though!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Greens Blues

I am two and a half weeks into my Fast Diet and finding it very easy: nothing to eat all day and pile it on (in moderation) at night.  According to what I have read and from the information in the 5:2 Diet Book, kale is the latest "in" vegetable.  Don't go there.  Perhaps it had something to do with the way I cooked it  -  steamed with wine and garlic  -  but it was like chewing on a tarpaulin.  Perhaps I should have beaten it into submission before I cooked it but the rest is going to be processed through my soup maker with some lentils which are one of my favourite things as well as being recommended as a good source of protein and fibre.

Another thing which I have discovered is that tuna is suitably white, as the diet bible recommends, but is supposed to be eaten almost raw, which I can't bring myself to do, or it is a very ho-hum fish.  Perhaps there is some tuna and lentil soup in the near future as well.

Himself (and I hope that he is not reading this) who has been on the 5:2 diet for a few weeks and has reduced his waistline significantly was singing in a public concert, standing in the front row of the choir when his braces failed him and he had to hold his trousers up with one hand and his music with the other.

I was able to buy a second blankie for Parsifal, identical to the first one, so now I can wash them regularly and he loves them.  In fact he is becoming very cuddly and hasn't eaten anything indigestible for ages; all he needed was to be able to smurgle on demand and curl up and go to sleep on the blankie afterwards.  But he still bullies Poppy ...

I have spun half of the seventh plait of Rosewood  -  almost halfway through my 14 plaits, have only about 4" of the endless black ribbing to knit before embarking on more ribbing up the jacket's back and I have started making rolags from the corriedale aubergine bump which I will be spinning woollen on E.Emma which might allow me to spin thicker to make a chunky sweater.  There is lots more in the pipeline and I am trying to resist the temptation to buy more fibre until I have reduced my stash somewhat but I can't knit fast enough to keep up.  I guess that I can pass some of it over to GB2 who is spinning  -  and who likes the same colours as I do but I want to spin it all myself.  I'll just have to knit faster.  My mother was a superlative knitter and could knit Aran and Fair Isle while reading a book.  I can't even do plain black ribbing at night even when I am looking at it.

This is a photo of the scarf which I knitted from the BFL pigtails from  -  click on the photo to enlarge it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Something Fishy

D1 has acquired a cat  -  Oriental and very vocal.  One of Iris' favourite things is Bonito Flakes which can be bought at Japanese delicatessens.   D1 has been telling me for weeks that I should get some as a treat for Poppy and Parsifal but the nearest Japanese deli is in Subiaco and I figure that my cats are spoilt enough without expecting me to travel for treats for them.

However, D1 gave a container of the flakes to D2 but Chloe turned up her nose at them and so they eventually gravitated to me.  Poppy, like Chloe, turned up her nose at them but Parsifal decided that they were exactly what he needed to make his life complete.  I found him with the container, which he had knocked off the kitchen bench, trying to get the lid off it and he has made serious attempts to open the cupboard where I have stored the flakes.

I am not prepared to make them a part of his diet because he will expect me to keep on providing them for him, so I have two choices;  I could wrap them securely and put them out with the rubbish  -  or I could pass them on to D3 for her cat.  It is getting to be a bit like 'pass the parcel' and D3 will probably have the same problem with Sebastian as I have with Parsifal  -  and am I prepared to do that to a much-loved daughter?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Not sure about this mothers' day present

Come to that I am not sure about all of my mothers' day presents.  The skein of black possum from New Zealand is nice because I can knit a cowl to match my possum mittens which, like the new skein, are black; but I have so much black to knit that my heart quails a bit at the prospect ... and I have selected a lovely lace pattern which I have been eyeing off for some time but I have never knitted lace before so it might cause some angst.

I decided to take a break from knitting the everlasting beastly black corriedale although I have done four feet and have only another two to go before I can get onto the back and sleeves which should be quicker than the endless ribbing.  So, in two days I knitted up all my little pigtails which I spun a few weeks ago and I now have almost eight feet of gorgeous diagonally striped scarf with the colours merging into each other.  I'll put in a photo as soon as I can grab someone to pose in it because it is too long to spread out.  I was heartened by the speed which it knitted up so I need to push ahead with the black ribbing and get it over and done with.

I have ordered myself some more pigtails  -  this time in Polwarth because Carolyn didn't have any BFL when I put in the order, and last night probably as a result of night starvation (more on that later) I put in an order for the last of Carolyn's 'watercolor' which was a one-off and a gorgeous colour  -  not painted but as the result of pouring dye left over from something else onto some tops and just letting the colour soak in.

Back to mothers' day presents; D1 sent me "The Diary of a Foreign Minister" by Bob Carr which she said was funny for all the wrong reasons.  I gather that he complains about being obliged to travel Business Class (poor thing).

And D2 gave me a book about, and a recipe book for, the 5:2 diet.  I admit that I had been thinking about trying it as Himself is having great success by using it  -  but I only weigh 70 kilos and reducing steadily.  So yesterday I had my first fasting day which was not at all hard except that it recommended white fish and the fish I bought was disgusting.  I have thrown the rest away and will either go back to salmon or start to eat barramundi instead.

I managed to snaffle the picture of  the Watercolor tops.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

... and is lost again

I thought that I had discovered the family of my Great Great Uncle Charles' step daughter until another genealogist who was helping me in my search checked and found that the baby had died when she was ten days old  -  so it was back to the drawing board, a board which is irritatingly blank.  She appears to have been the natural child of my Uncle Charles' wife and we now have her given names and an approximate birth year but she doesn't appear to have been registered at birth.  This was common with babies born out of wedlock at that time and I usually found them by their death registrations.  Very sad but a reality in the days when 'bastards' were something to be ashamed of and hidden.  I suspect that many of them were allowed to quietly starve.

I have now spun 75% of the second skein of my Rosewood tops and it is a very full bobbin, although not bellied up.  I hope that the other bobbin fills up as much or I will be overlapping skeins again as I had some singles left on one of the bobbins from the first skein.

My postal scales arrived yesterday so I may be able to divide the plaits more evenly in future.

I have bought Parsifal a new Blankie.  It is a proper blankie, not a recycled dressing gown, and he loves it.  Yesterday, after his morning smurgle he curled up on it and went to sleep.  Bless his little black heart;  he is gorgeous but very needy.