Making a Sweater

I’m going to knit another sweater. A simple, classic sweater that will replace all the cream sweaters I threw out a while ago.

Future Mudblood

Future Mudblood

It’s going to be in Bendigo Woollen Mills, which is good for a simple, workaday sweater. It’s going to be the Mudblood Caridgan from The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, because I like a good buttoned cardigan. I am planning to add elbow patches in some fancy yarn, though.

One day I plan to knit another sweater in more expensive, exquisite yarn, but frankly, at the moment I’m still having issues with body shape. Once I get that sorted, I’ll invest in the yarn without trepidation.

I’m not obsessing over my weight, though. I loved this article by Rachel Grate, in which she asks: “What if working out wasn’t the prerequisite for the reward—whether it’s food, weight, or “beauty”—but was the reward in itself?” Then I saw a great tumblr post featuring Captain America, which made me laugh. It affirmed my approach, though. I’m doing spin class, I do the odd cardio workout, I hoop, I roller skate, I play with the Scot and I eat moderately, occasionally fueling my body with gelati! It’s all good and if I’m still a bit out of synch, I at least know I’m on the right path to feeling more my old self.

Crossing my stitches

"The Pandorica Opens"

“The Pandorica Opens”

Oh, who really needs a diamond cliff face to scrawl a message to the Doctor? I have a needle and some blue thread.

Sampler in progress

Sampler in progress

Shelley gave me the pattern (from Crown Street Cottage on Etsy) and since the new Doctor Who episode is a mere fortnight away, I thought I should start work. It’s going to be brilliant!

Mum and I found some fantastic cross stitch magazines in Milan. Don’t understand Italian? No hassle. Everything is charted, after all, and we’ve managed to sort out supplies with a little help from google translate. I do have plans to eventually stitch a table cloth.

A grand plan

A grand plan

Can’t resist anything with a squirrel on it!

A Little Interval in Italy

Me: "Are you happy to see me back?"

Me: “Are you happy to see me back?”

I’ve been away in Italy!

Lake Como - just as though someone popped a postcard in front of your nose.

Lake Como – just as though someone popped a postcard in front of your nose.

Shopping for real estate in Lake Como

Shopping for real estate in Lake Como

Visiting Juliet in Verona.

Visiting Juliet in Verona.

Peeping into Juliet's bedroom. (Mum: "There is no such person. Why is everyone here so obsessed?")

Peeping into Juliet’s bedroom. (Mum: “There is no such person. Why is everyone here so obsessed?”)

Verona - where you can sit and enjoy a coffee at a cafe overlooking the tombs

Verona – where you can sit and enjoy a coffee at a cafe overlooking the tombs

I love gelati... maybe not this much.

I love gelati… maybe not this much.

We did eat a LOT of gelati.

We did eat a LOT of gelati.

We also ate gluten free pizza in Florence

We also ate gluten free pizza in Florence

Florence is pretty

Florence is pretty

And I love it when you turn corners in Italy and get these unexpected views

And I love it when you turn corners in Italy and get these unexpected views

They also have some wonky towers. Seriously... it's really leaning. I know all about it leaning, but to see it... it's really leaning!

They also have some wonky towers. Seriously… it’s really leaning. I know all about it leaning, but to see it… it’s really leaning!

But you can't ever get enough of the Tuscan landscape

But you can’t ever get enough of the Tuscan landscape

... Or the door knockers that look like they belong in the Labyrinth!

… Or the door knockers that look like they belong in the Labyrinth!

I’m back now. I have jetlag + ‘flu, which isn’t a fantastic combination. However, I did manage to finish a little project.

Sherlock has a friend - soon they'll have pillow fights. Stay tuned!

Sherlock has a friend – soon they’ll have pillow fights. Stay tuned!

 

Travelling socks

I almost always have a pair of plain vanilla socks to knit while out and about. The kind of vanilla socks made from fantastically pretty yarn that you can knit without too much thought and, hey, if the ball of yarn bounces down the bus aisle, it’s not the end of the world.

I just finished another pair knit from Knitsch Sock in “Filibuster.” The socks have been doing some travelling. The first sock had a rather sedate life on the bus to and from work, with the odd meeting thrown in.

The second sock has a leg that was mostly knit during a fairy tale event in Sydney (go figure – that’s my life), with the foot mostly knit while watching Maleficent. I was prepared to hate Maleficent. Hate might be too strong a word, but I didn’t like it. Especially because this Maleficent made me mess up in the dark theatre and I ended up with a few wonky stitches. I can’t wait to go to a lights up event!

Maleficent's fault

Maleficent’s fault

I also got quite a bit of popcorn in the sock, but that’s another story. Why didn’t I like Maleficent? Well, for a start, I’m always dubious about films that make the villain sympathetic. Maleficent in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is a scene-chewing, malicious, snarky villain of the first order. She has her name for a reason. There’s the odd glimpse of her in Maleficent, but she’s also a woman wronged by the man she loves and I could almost hear the country and western songs being written for her… oh geez. Not to mention what they did to my favourite fairy godmothers! It’s no wonder some stitches went wonky.

Now I’ve got the ‘flu (which, come to think of it, I should also blame her for) and I couldn’t manage much more than some simple knitting and the making of chicken soup today. So I finished the second sock.

The Scot: Just a minute, what's going on?

The Scot: Just a minute, what’s going on?

There’s a special satisfaction in a utilitarian pair of socks. They’re cosy, efficient, pretty…

The Scot: Oh, actually, yes, this might feel good...

The Scot: Oh, actually, yes, this might feel good…

On a chilly afternoon, when you’re all snuffles and sniffles, they’re just about the best thing ever.

The Scot: Oooooh, oh yes! That's the spot! Just massage me right there! Oh yes!

The Scot: Oooooh, oh yes! That’s the spot! Just massage me right there! Oh yes!

I think I’ll go and put pjs on now and make a toasted cheese sandwich for dinner. I have no idea what the Scot is doing…

#Scotlock

The Scot: "You're going to hashtag this, aren't you?"

The Scot: “You’re going to hashtag this, aren’t you?”

The Scot and I think #Scotlock could be a thing! I finished up the last shoe of my little Sherlock. I did have some fun with the work in progress…

"We solve crimes, I blog about it and he forgets his pants"

“We solve crimes, I blog about it and he forgets his pants”

But now it’s done and all that’s left is to stitch Watson, too, and make them into matching cushions (for pillow fights!).

Sherlocked

Sherlocked

I bought some special fabric for the cushions from Spoonflower. I also picked up some cute pencils, because I love using pencils and there’ll be much use for them soon between all the grading of papers and theses and the jotting down of designs. Guess which pencil I plan to use for what!

Need to post a letter? I have owls!

One little owl peeping out

One little owl peeping out

I finished my Luna Cardigan (aka Ginny’s Cardigan)! It’s knit with Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury in ‘Ghost,’ which I think is far more appropriate for a Ravenclaw sweater, keeping in mind the Grey Lady. Besides, Luna is my favourite Harry Potter character along with Neville, Sirius and Hagrid. She’s a wonder. Kooky, yes, but loyal, clever and unbelievably brave. Her placid response to bullying, her quiet wisdom about death… who wouldn’t love to have Luna as a friend? Luna, this cardigan is knit in your honour!

I bought some big vintage buttons and I think the plain buttons, slightly concave, look like moons. Again, very apt for Luna!

All the owls!

All the owls!

This is my favourite knitted sweater yet! It has a wonderful, quasi ‘boyfriend sweater’ shape and while I could have perhaps knitted it a size smaller, it’s comfy as is. I’m particularly in love with bust shaping! I’ve never incorporated bust shaping before and those short rows are a marvel! It buttons up easily, but doesn’t have all that extra bulk around the midsection that I seriously don’t need.

Accio owls!

Accio owls!

All in all, this is a total success! I am celebrating tonight with a tasty osso bucco liberally seasoned with white wine.

Mod Poppies

The Mod Poppies are up on Ravelry! They’re inspired by 60s design.

Mod Poppies

Mod Poppies

I finished off the pattern tonight, so thought I’d take the plunge! They’re knit up in Knitsch Caboose, which is an absolutely glorious orange-red and totally appropriate for poppies. You can see the colour a little better in the shot below, which is before I tweaked the design along the toe.

Poppies in foliage

Poppies in foliage

This is how the toe looks now…

Floral toes!

Floral toes!

I’m actually selling this design. It’s just the cost of a cup of coffee (I take soy, by the way). I’ll still be putting up some free designs, too.

Aren’t socks fun to design?

Anyway, Happy Star Wars Day!

The Two Greatest Jedi Knights in the Galaxy

The Two Greatest Jedi Knights in the Galaxy