Tag Archives: knitting

Finding flow by knitting Owls by @KDaviesdesigns

Owls by Kate Davies

I have the luxury of a few days of staycation, playing with the cat, unwinding several balls of yarn and just readjusting my head space for 2014,Without realising how, I managed to rediscover my groove or “Flow”.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, wrote a book in the 90’s about Flow titled appropriately “Finding Flow”, he was also featured in a Ted talk about “What makes a life worth living?”, the link is here. Flow is essentially:

complete immersion in an experience could occur while you are singing in a choir, dancing, playing bridge, or reading a good book…Moments such as these provide flashes of intense living against the dull background of everyday life.  Read More…

Bit of sunshine – back to the digital land

Silk sunshine

Goodness, I have been away for so long that Flickr looks completely foreign to me! It’d been busy two months, I went away to New York and came back with more photos  than time to upload and share with the world.

In the meantime, I’m fiddling with a bundle of silky sun shine thanks to Debbie Bliss. That’s one way to keep the winter’s blues away while waiting for some paella to cool courtesy of J.

Paella Sunday

Cropped Cardigan with Leaf Ties

Cropped cardigan with leaf tie WIP

I have a backlog of posts that I never got the chance to write, but I’m going to take a leaf from other bloggers’ virtual book and dedicate days to write posts. Stay tune to see how this will eventuate.

TINA was lots of fun as always, but more of that next time. Sales was slow, but the wind and the rain kept most people out. Thanks to those who bought my zine, you guys rock as always.

I just realised it has been a while since I posted about my knitting project, eventhough they are piling in the background. I started knitting Stefanie Japel’s Cropped Cardigan with Leaf Ties last week using Morris’s Superwash Merino 8ply and was initially rather pleased with how fast it knitted up. I had never knitted anything from the top down before and finally realised what the fuss was all about. It really was gratifying being able to try a piece on while knitting it, and I do get a better sense of how the fit was going to be compared to a bottom up knit.

The only ammend I have made so far was to knit the sleeves in the round using circulars. So far so good, but not quite sure what I will do with the gaping hole underneath the sleeves. Another thing I find slightly irritating about the pattern was the initial increase to create the yoke. I had to fudge my way a few times ensure that the number of stitches before and after the sleeves will sit properly on my shoulder.

I still need to knit the body and the tie, but I can definitely see new possibilities in the cardigan construction to create something new based on this pattern. Oh and another thing, as much as I love the colour and smooth texture of this yarn and how it feels, it does have a rather unfortunate tendency to split. I wasn’t happy with the random joints as well, for a 50g ball I would not expect see more than one joint at a time.

Incidentally, I believe the Morris yarn is produced by the same family that owns Morris and Sons, arguably Sydney’s biggest yarn store.

I heart Kings Cross

I heart Kings CrossIf there is one thing that I am missing quite badly after leaving London it is the lovely London Stitch N Bitch crew, and as I typed this one of their newsletter just popped into my inbox! I missed the lovely ladies, the weekly meet ups at all types of venues around London and finding out what the Knit the City knitters are up to as they spread their knitting love around London.

I heart Kings CrossWhile looking around for a local knitting group to join, I came across the Iheartkx website. Inviting all knitters to attend one of their knitting circles for the month of September, the various knitted bits and pieces will be used as part of a public art project around Kings Cross.


Every year City of Sydney commissions a major community-based public art project as part of Art & About. This year, Reef Knot’s ‘I Heart Kings Cross’ project was chosen to engage with the truly diverse and spirited community of Kings Cross as well as local artists.

Over two months Reef Knot will collaborate with a team of artists to run assorted knitting circles in Fitzroy Gardens and other local businesses. Then, in early October 2009, the finished pieces will be installed throughout the Cross in a celebration of colour, tolerance and diversity.

‘I Heart Kings Cross’ will be installed from 10-25 October.

I heart Kings CrossFrom memory this was indeed the biggest collaborative knitting project that I have seen in Sydney. By mid October, expect to see sometimes dodgy but always lively Kings Cross be covered in knitting.

If interested, there are several knitting circles meeting up on various days of the week, with the biggest group meeting on Saturdays from 10:00-16:00 at the Fitzroy Garden in Kings Cross. More details can be found here.

Back to the knit

Ropes and picot cardiganI actually finished this a while back in July, but didn’t have time to take a photo of it or blog it properly. The Ropes and Picots Cardigan was probably the fastest cardigan I ever knitted, I finished it in just over three weeks. It had enough interesting details such as the ruffled edging and cable details without being overly complex for a knit in front of TV project. It does suit someone with a longer torso who can wear boxy cardigans well, so unfortunately as much I love making it doesn’t quite suit my  body shape.

Ammends I would have made is to cast more stitches for the sleeves. Considering how boxy the body of the cardigan was, the sleeves were disproportionally smaller. I should have also cast a smaller number of stitches for the body and then shape the waist with decreases. I did love the neckline, but overall the shape was just not very flattering on me. Luckily it does suit my slightly taller Mum, so all is not lost. One thing I loved about this was I managed to sew the garment almost perfectly, it looked seamless where the two front pieces are sewn to the back. You won’t notice it in the photo, but then again that’s the point!

World Wide Knit In Public Day 2009 with moustaches

Knitting at Trafalgar Square

In just under a 24 hours I was back in London.

(Aching, grumpy and so jet lagged, the concept of time had magically transformed into a beautiful abstract work of science fiction in my head, but at least I was in one piece, more or less).

It feels a little surreal to be back when the sun is out and the day stretches lazily from dawn to dusk. I am not sure how long I will be here. Things didn’t eventuate the way I thought it would, so I am on currently on standby to leave the country in a couple of  weeks unless something else happens otherwise

Spot the moustache...On the flip side I intend to make the most of this summer, starting with running off to join the London Stitch N Bitch crew on that most sacred of days for knitters –  World Wide Knit In Public Day. The sun was in full force, when I finally headed out to join the group at Tate Modern. For some reason I thought that the meeting point was outside, it was only after about a half hour of wondering  whether it was possible to miss a group of knitters wearing moustaches that I figured out I must be in the wrong location and entered the Tate.

Why the knitted moustaches, you might ask? It was part of the fund raising effort by the lovely ladies at Stitch N Bitch London. This year all proceed will go to Prostrate UK Charity.  We wandered from the Tate to Trafalgar Square, moustaches firmly in place despite the heat and the puzzled look from some onlookers before ending in a pub closeby where I met a travelling knitted Hedgehog with his own knitted post box on his way to Cornwall.

The Travelling Hedgehog and Friend

I was absolutely knackered by this point and can barely think straight let alone knit a number of stitches without dropping the whole lot. Not quite sure how the organisors managed to stay on without being carried home, though I am more than a little grateful their stamina was a lot stronger than mine.

A pulse, a veritable internet pulse

Okkervil River at The AnnandaleThis post is brought to you by Saturday, howling wind that woke me up at an insane hour, a working internet connection and Okkervil River. A friend had a spare ticket to their show at the Annandale (thanks B) and although I haven’t heard of them before thought they sound rather jolly from the bits of audio I managed to catch. It was an absolutely packed night, with the body heat generated by the excited crowd brought the heat up by a good ten degrees. Their folksy, foot tapping tunes kept the heated crowd happy and I walked away with Lost Coastlines in my head without knowing the name of the song at the time.

Okkervil River at The Annandale

Oh some photos to prove I was there, but I was just too far to catch them properly. Would really be interested to see them at scala later on in the year (meaningful look at fanceyj). Knitting wise I am nearly done with the Ropes and Picot cardigan, at 3 weeks this ended up being a faster knit than I expected. It is a fairly easy pattern, but there is enough detail to make it interesting. If anything, I am loving the picot edging as it’s not something I have tried before.

Ropes and Picot Cardigan WIPThe pattern itself was well written and I didn’t receive a horrible “oh my, that’s a surprise I could do without” moment with this one, which is rather rare. I didn’t expect to love the Jo Sharp Silkroad tweed this much, it is softer than it looks but is also hefty enough for the garment to keep its shape. Love the Rowan 4ply tweed, it still irritates me that aside from one other manufacturer no one else makes tweed in 4ply!

The number game

Day 17 still waitingYou know you’re back sharing the internets when uploading any file bigger than 100kb will take almost an hour! My brother claimed he’s innocent, but the jury is still out on that one. Day 17 in the visa waiting game and lo and behold I am actually starting to enjoy it. Perhaps after being screamed at by multiple people to just relax and there’s nothing you can do, I finally lost the will to stress out. That being said, I am likely to take up the tense past time once the 40 working days period is over…but we’ll cross that bridge once we get there.

Incidentally, if you ever wonder how many people does it take to process the tens and thousand of visa application sent to the British High Commission, the magic answer is not 42 or even 7, but 5.  It boggles the mind that with over a million pound in surplus from the BHC activities alone they haven’t actually used that money to invest in more people or streamline their system. Then again, what do I know?

A dog's lifeIn the meantime, I am learning the art of zen from the family dog. He’s mellowed down quite a lot since he turned 3 this year and is quite happy to sit close to me and nap the day away. On happier craft related news, Paul Mietx Egli from Quilt2Go has confirmed that the long awaited Knitminder is finally out! I blogged about StitchMinder last year when the application first launched, now there’s a 0.2 version to update to, but more excitingly with Knitminder you can now keep track of all your knitting projects. There is no integration with ravelry as yet, but I won’t be surprised to see something happening very soon from the sound of things.

Back to crafting

Frock Camisole

I have been a little slack when it comes to posting about my knitting project. A few are on the go, most undergoing some kind of frogging so I ended up having less to show than the beginning! I did managed to finish this Frock Camisole last winter, but with it being winter there was very little motivation to wear it out. It was actually a very quick knit, took me about 6 weeks done very very slowly, but I am quite happy with the overall result. The Rowan RYC Silk Cotton I used was a little stiffer than expected, it did give the garment a more structured feel, but I am hoping it will be softer after a few washes.

On other news, my little zine Craft and Pointy was reviewed by the craft cartel’s podcast. Rather thrilled and feeling a little guilty for not pushing it as hard as I should. There are copies on sale at etsy, but I haven’t pushed it that hard as I need to print a new batch as my original run was only meant for TINA last year. I am working on issue 3 now, hopefully it will be ready for the MCA zine fair on the 25th of May. Send me an email if you are interested in contributing/ would like a copy / yell at me for making only an issue each year.

Vivian and drowning in baked goods

Sunday brunch

Our kitchen is currently packed with enough freshly baked good to keep us carb happy for the rest of the week. My housemate is back to his baking frenzy and we currently have a small mountain made up of delicious rock cakes. After nearly losing a tooth and breaking my jaw in the process, my past experience with rock cakes had been rather rocky (ahem). Though this version is lovely and more scone like, definitely give it a go if you have a kilogram of flour lying around.

My suggestion is to have it smothered with butter and fig jam. I bought a giant jar of the most delicious fig jam from Carluccio’s and can’t help but spread the love on any roll, toast or bread like substance.

On the knitting front, redrice bubble and I are knitting Vivian as our knit a long. So far, we’ve frogged it twice, but loving the pattern itself. It’s interesting enough to be challenging, but there’s enough repetition for it not too be too frustrating. I have knitted it using Bendigo Wooll’s classic 8ply with the colour being coffee. It will end up being a lighter hoodie than specified, but figured that it will be spring by the time I finish this one.

Vivian in progress,