Thursday, May 11, 2006

Catching up, and a new toy!

So... Where have I been for the past month?

Well.. For the most part, I've been upgrading my PC to 'Windows XP', and re-installing everything from scratch. It hasn't exactly been upgrade hell, but it has been time consuming, and there's still work that needs to be done -- for example, my PC still can't find the printer on our home network, and the rest of the family still can't access any files in the folders I've tried to share with them over the network. I've also learnt that when you install 'Windows XP' from scratch, having a Zip drive installed is a bad thing, as it will totally mess up the order in which letters are allocated to disk drives. Eek! I also now have the new keyboard and mouse I've had since Christmas installed on my PC -- you should have seen the haste with which Michael disposed of the old ones once they were disconnected. ;)

As a consequence of all this activity, over the past month I haven't made a lot of progress on my current works in progress, but here is a quick run-down of what I've gotten done...

I finally bit the bullet and knit a test swatch for the fairisle side of Katherine's 'Skull Vest'. I've never knit fairisle before, so this has been a real learning experience.

I'm not entirely happy with how it turned out, as the stitches down one of the edges are on the loose side. Fortunately, the more experienced knitters at our get together at 'Rubi & Lana' last Saturday were able to suggest a few things that might improve the situation, which I will try out in my next test swatch -- Thanks, everyone! :) I am quite happy with the way the stranding and weaving on the reverse side turned out, however. All in all, not too bad for my first attempt! Especially as the black and white is not exactly the most forgiving combination.

And I've finally washed and blocked the tension square I knit for the plain side of the vest, which featured in an earlier posting in its straight off the needles, rolled up form...

I'm really happy with the way the 'Rubi & Lana' yarn is knitting up, and the softness and drape of the finished samples. :)

'Clapotis 2' is progressing well...

I've photographed the reverse stocking stitch side this time, as that is the intended right side after all. I'm well into the decreases for the end now, so hopefully it shouldn't be long now before it's wearable. Unlike my first 'Clapotis' -- which was knit with two strands of Lorna's Laces "Helen's Lace" -- this one does look like it's going to need a good blocking before I can wear it.

For the first time in a very long time, I went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show this year -- the last time I went, the Show was still at the old venue, and I think at least one of my girls was in a stroller.

I didn't take any photos, but I did get to see Donna's lovely shawl up close, along with other treats like the 'Knitted Roast Dinner' display which several other people have posted about in their blogs. I was actually quite surprised by the range of abilities of the entrants on display in the knitting categories, which went from intricate lace shawls to a small patchwork cover made from squares knit in random colourways of Patons 'Feathers'.

This is my haul -- well, most of it -- from the Show...

Michael bought me a black Akubra in the 'Snowy River' style. I chose one that didn't have the pimp feathers which seemed to feature on most of the others. Instead of wearing it, I had the salesman put it in the Akubra plastic bag shown in the photo -- just so I could tell everyone I'd bought the Akubra showbag. ;) This hat will be perfect for keeping the sun off the stupidly pale skin of my face on the walks I desperately need to start doing again, and will be a much more attractive proposition than my old floppy black hat.

The King Island cheeses I bought aren't there with everything else in the photo, as most of them have already been eaten -- yum! -- but you can see the King Island cooler bag I carried them home in.

Michael also bought me two hanks of Mollydale mohair in a lovely dark blue colourway. Here is a close-up photo of the yarn, which I hope shows some of the lovely variation in the blue a little better...

And now it's finally time to show off my new toy!

It's a Motorola V3X mobile 'phone. This is the first new mobile I've had since 2000, so I'm quite excited by all the new features this one has -- especially the camera and the possibility of using it to listen to knitting podcasts when I'm out and about once I install a higher capacity memory card.

knitabulous... Apologies for not featuring the prize you sent me for winning your competition in this posting, but as you can see from this photo...

Australia Post has failed to deliver so far. :(

Manda... Where are you in Sydney? If you're not too far away, there's several of us who meet at 'Rubi & Lana' in Gordon every second Saturday from 11:00am until 2:00pm -- the next meeting will be on May 20th. Even if you're not all that close to Gordon, the shop is worth the trip. If this does prove to be little out of the way for you, I may well be able to suggest something closer to you as I've been known to buy yarn at most of the yarn shops around Sydney -- and a few of the Melbourne yarn shops too, for that matter. ;)

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At 7:52 am, May 11, 2006, Blogger celia said...

Hi Pamela!
The mollydale stuff looks really nice and soft. I am trying not to buy any more yarn so looking at other people's yarn-p0rn is what I do to satisfy these darned cravings! thank you for sharing yours!

At 10:56 am, May 11, 2006, Blogger SadieandLance said...

Wow Pamela you're a busy girl! Your vest swatch is very impressive for a Fairisle first timer! And you gorgeous claptis - it reminds me that I should hurry up and have a crack at that pattern.

At 7:39 pm, May 15, 2006, Blogger Kate said...

Hi Pamela,
Knitting and computers - a pain and a pleasure both. Love the skull vest.


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