When I grow up, I want to be Granny Weatherwax

The Discworld Square

The Discworld Square

I’ve slowed a little with the geekalong blanket, but I did design and knit up a few new squares. One for the Discworld, because any blanket that doesn’t pay homage to Granny Weatherwax simply isn’t fit for a bed! I actually knitted this one up as a charm – Papa had to have heart surgery, so I was knitting away while waiting for the phone to ring. All went well! Better than hoped for, in fact, so that worked!

Psych Square 1

Psych Square 1

Psych square 2

Psych Square 2

I also became a huge fan of Psych recently – any show that features Westley as a jewel thief is my kind of show – so there inevitably had to be a pineapple. Only, now I can’t decide which side of the pineapple square I like best. Any ideas?

I’ve started uploading the charts I made to Ravelry, but they’re on my project pages, so just look up gidgetknits’s projects and you’ll find them. And don’t forget to check out the official Geekalong 2014 squares and their excellent cause, Child’s Play. The original, official blanket is amazing!!! Especially if, unlike me, you know about gaming. I don’t, so I’ve just ad-libbed some of my blanket!

I’ve had long days and nights in front of the computer for work, so this morning I took a little time away from the screen to play with quilting. I’m so terrible at getting my points right! But I’d seen Elizabeth Hartman’s fox quilt about and I fell in love with it. I’m not convinced I’d have patience for the full sized quilt, but she has a fantastic lap quilt with large foxes and it looked like the kind of project that would be good for a novice quilter. This morning I practiced the gigantic square with some scraps I had about.

Be Bold, Be Bold, But Not Too Bold

Be Bold, Be Bold, But Not Too Bold

I’ve been reading Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr Fox (it’s fantastic – recommend it!) and I’m a big fan of the fairy tale, so I do have foxes on the mind! Just ignore that one ear is slightly smaller than the other – and the tartan does look a bit wonky… but…

The Silver Fox Lord

The Silver Fox Lord

Tartan… silver fox… galaxies reflected in his eyes… you know where this was going!

I’m planning to make the lap quilt out of florals – now that I know I can cope with the design – so I’m just deciding what to do now with my gigantic silver fox!

And just a little plug at the end, here. I published a short story.

"The Death Of Glinda" in Aurealis #77

“The Death Of Glinda” in Aurealis #77

If you’re a fan of Oz and its amazing citizens or if you ever thought Aunt Em got a raw deal, you might like it!

And as a farewell for today, look at this incredible vegetable stack I made using only vegetables from the garden! Better than a burger any day (still pescatarian since New Year!).

Better than MacDonalds!

Better than MacDonalds!

Verona

Verona

Verona

The third and final Italian-inspired pattern is live. There ends the trilogy!

And what better way to end? I love Verona with all my heart. It’s the most magical place, packed in with history. It is also an ode to a love affair that was written by an English playwright for a London stage. You can wander the city, visiting Romeo’s house (above) and Juliet’s house (below) and Juliet’s tomb… or, as my mother did, you can walk by these attractions loudly wondering, ‘why are all these people here when it was all made up?’

Yet, people flock to visit Juliet. While Romeo’s house is a little trickier to find, you can easily locate Juliet’s house, because it is crammed with people.

Juliet's House

Juliet’s House

I took the above shot very early in the morning, just after opening, because I knew the place would shortly be inaccessible. By midday, you can’t walk down the street outside without pushing through the throng.

Who knows why we all pay our respects to Juliet and tell her our troubles? Does it matter that she probably never existed? As far as I’m concerned, I think she does exist just by virtue of our belief in her. That’s not a bad thing, although I can imagine it gives Shakespeare a good chuckle wherever he is in the stardust.

Coming up with a sock to do justice to Verona, I couldn’t go by the tragic love story. Knitsch’s “The Mad Blood Stirreth” was also far too perfect. So, this is my design of twisted stitch hearts and mock cables. This is my attempt to elevate the sock to new and tragic heights!

Overlooking Juliet's Balcony

Overlooking Juliet’s Balcony

I may have been running around Juliet’s house taking sock photos when the security guards weren’t looking!

On Juliet's Balcony

On Juliet’s Balcony

I wasn’t quite brave enough to model the socks myself, I have to admit.

By Juliet's Bed

By Juliet’s Bed

But it was somehow wonderful to be at Juliet’s house with my sock! Maybe if she’s had a good pair of socks, the whole thing with Romeo wouldn’t have been quite so desperate.

Let’s talk faster and more…

Blanket Progress

Blanket Progress

As my Mum noted, these squares seriously need some blocking/pressing, but that will just have to wait. In the meantime, I’ve added a couple more squares. An ‘official’ GAL 2014 square for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and one of my own interlopers. How could I have a geeky blanket without a Gilmore Girls reference?

The last few weeks have been a little harried and this blanket introduced a much needed dose of sanity. I was back at work last week and that is just unbelievable at the moment! I’m already working overtime and it’s supposed to be our ‘quiet time.’ Then the Scot developed two new lumps – you’ve never seen anyone look so relieved to discover an infection! And that was just the vet looking relieved. The infection’s all cleared up now and tomorrow I’m taking the Scot in to have his stitches AND the evil cone of shame removed. There may be jigging and jiving afterward. Possibly some slipper-stealing.

Back to blanket business, I’m so pleased with how the Luke’s Diner-inspired square turned out.

Coffee Coffee Coffee!

Coffee Coffee Coffee!

There wasn’t any question of it being anything but coffee-inspired (there is a caffeine molecule ‘official’ square) and I think I’m hitting my stride with double knitting and designing the colour work. I’m doing it by hand using my Knitter’s Graph Paper Journal and then popping the design up on StitchMastery. The graph paper is a dream – a knitted stitch isn’t perfectly square. The proportions of my Labyrinth square are slightly out because I designed it directly on StitchMastery. Taking the extra step to sketch it out on specially-designed knitting graph paper is totally worth it.

And in the meantime, I’ve been catching up on the Gilmore Girls twin, Bunheads, which is absolutely amazing and I’m beyond despairing that it was cancelled. Seriously, it’s witty, full of great female characters – and dance!! I was in stitches over the possum scene this morning. I just can’t get enough of the screwball-comedy-inspired-fast-talking of Amy Sherman-Palladino‘s heroines. We need more smart television.

Gelati!

Gelati

Gelati

Want to knit up some socks that pay homage to that greatest of all foodstuffs, gelati? You can now just hop over to Ravelry for a pattern to do just that!

I knitted these as part of my Italian trio of patterns (Como is out already). Here’s the first test sock at my favourite gelati shop in Prato, just outside Florence.

Mmmmm... pistachio!

Mmmmm… pistachio!

When I was thinking of designing a trio of Italian-inspired patterns, I couldn’t not include one for gelati and above you can see the pistachio gelato that I still have dreams about! I wanted the socks to steer clear of ‘candy’ shades and Socks That Rock has the loveliest pistachio colourway perfect for my ode to gelati.

Although, while I was in Italy last year, I may have cheated on pistachio with this peach, but oh, it was so so so so good.

Anyone for something peachy?

Anyone for something peachy?

Here’s how I describe my sock:

Gelato is just about my favourite thing in Italy. Beware of ‘tourist’ gelati, though, particularly the kind displayed in gigantic mounds. You want the good stuff and that means you should check the pistachio. If it’s dull green, that’s a good sign. If it’s bright green, that’s a bad sign. These socks are my ode to pistachio gelato.

The socks are knitted toe up, starting with an impression of three scoops. On the leg you have a delicious, baroque round of gelato cones, some with cherries on top. Be careful, though! They’re starting to drip in a simple pattern of eyelets down the leg.

Three scoops!

Three scoops!

That’s right, there’s three scoops at the toe! I’ve had people insist that two scoops is the max, but if you’re very canny, you can choose the right three flavours to go together (I recommend Stracciatella, dark chocolate and pistachio).

Hope you’ll enjoy this gelati treat!

Cones and Squares – It’s All Geometry

Squares are being added to the Geek-a-long blanket.

Approval of Sherotter

Approval of Sherotter

We have a square for Sherlock now! I will resist the temptation to shoot at the smiley face.

Proud Hufflepuff

Proud Hufflepuff

We also have Hufflepuff, because Hufflepuff is the best House. It always bothers me that in the books, the House known for students who are kind and hard working is shunned and ridiculed. That’s just wrong! Hufflepuff deserves the love.

Baby, baby get me out of here

Baby, baby get me out of here

And I invented a Labyrinth square! There wasn’t one. I needed a Labyrinth square. It’s my first shot at putting together colourwork and I think it works.

It’s been a strange holiday so far. The Scot has a lump, so he’s in the Cone of Shame as I empty out my wallet to have it sorted. It’s all good. He’s going to be okay! And due to good friends, I have stopped worrying and fretting. Almost.

$50 if you take this stupid thing off me - The Scot

$50 if you take this stupid thing off me – The Scot

Mind, I can’t wait to see him like this again.

Even a deflating ball is fun!

Even a deflating ball is fun!

Blanket Fort Update

Blooming 'Dahlia'

Blooming ‘Dahlia’

The blankets are growing! The Dahlia Blanket in Knitsch ‘Tangerine’ DK continues to be incredibly beautiful. She’s on a longer cable now and I’m on to the final row of petals. Of course, these are the BIG petals. I might be petalling for a while.

Granny Square Multiplication

Granny Square Multiplication

I’m continuing to produce granny squares. I think the two rows of white around each square should do the trick?

Geeking Along

Geeking Along

And I’m super pleased with how the colour scheme for the Geekalong Blanket is going. Notice the pink TARDIS? I might just be saying something about my views on a female Doctor there! After all, Doctor Donna is my favourite companion. However, that aside, I hope Capaldi stays for a good long while. Bring on the Christmas episode!

You’d think I’d be blanketeded out, wouldn’t you? But no. Tash would update The Holland Road Yarn Company’s Facebook page with this blanket. I’m in love. I’m searching for just the right greys!

I do plan in the next few weeks to release a few backlogged patterns. I’m just winding up work and then I have some time to catch up!

In Pursuit of a Blanket Fort

I’m not sure how it started. Did it start when I was a bit disgruntled after a meeting and ‘accidentally’ bought a bunch of Knitsch Worsted in Tangerine?

Nothing is better than a yarn hug

Nothing is better than a yarn hug

Did it begin when I learned the granny square and started to become obsessive?

A Granny Square Pile Up

A Granny Square Pile Up

Did it begin when I started seeing the squares from the Geek-A-Long Blanket popping up on Instagram?

However it began, I have three blankets now on the go. I lack remorse. Instead, I have plans for a blanket fort! Who wants to join me?

The granny squares are progressing nicely. I’m experimenting with a white border and I think two rows per square is enough, although I’m still mulling over three.

Granny squares squared

Granny squares squared

I’ve also started another colour. There’s one thing about this blanket – it’s using up the sock yarn stash of multi-hued madness. The colours just come to life.

Another day, another colour palette

Another day, another colour palette

Crochet is brilliant! Why was I so slow to learn? It’s a perfect occupation while riding buses and waiting in cafes for friends. I have so many plans…

Speaking of which, my Tangerine Knitsch perfectly complements my favourite flowers, the nasturtiums.

No filter required

No filter required

I’ve begun a Dahlia Blanket. It was a love-at-first-sight pattern and I don’t regret it for a moment. It’s one of those knitting projects where you stop every few stitches just to enjoy it all over again.

Dahlia in progress

Dahlia in progress

Then, because I’m upskilling, have been wanting to try double knitting, and was loving watching Geek-A-Long squares popping up…

Oh, who am I kidding? I saw The Princess Bride square and that was that. So I’ve begun at the point of inspiration, but have decided to be a rebel and am doing it all in shades in pink and green for a girlier geeky blanket.

My pensive Dread Pirate Roberts

My pensive Dread Pirate Roberts

Incidentally, I just read As You Wish and it’s great fun. Cary Elwes is so dastardly charming! I’ve been watching him in Psych too, but was there ever a more perfect swashbuckling pirate?

Anyway, in the midst of all this frenzied blanketing (totally a word), I also discovered the perfect rose growing in my garden.

Now to find a prince to curse...

Now to find a prince to curse…