Archive for March 2012

BWM 2012 shade card round up.

Public Service Announcement: this really is a post all about this year’s Bendigo Woollen Mills shade card. It contains spoilers, but may also cause drowsiness when consumed.

The month of March is full of excitement and anticipation for me, as it’s when the new Bendigo Woollen Mills shade card arrives. I don’t think I’ve explicitly mentioned it, though it might be already apparent; Bendigo Woollen Mills is my ‘go to’ brand of yarn. Many of my FOs are from BWM yarns, and their yarns make up a large part of my stash. I have a somewhat love/hate relationship with their colourways (there are often more insipid colours than you can poke a stick at), but it’s reasonably priced, decent quality, and there are enough decent colours to get by. Nevertheless, there’s always a little bit of nervousness mixed in with the excitement of receiving a new shade card, wondering which of my favourite colourways have got the boot this year.

BWM 2012 shade card

This year’s shade card arrived yesterday, and it was out of the envelope quicker than you can say ‘I’ve got a golden ticket’. Just for fun, here’s a summary of changes between the 2011 and 2012 shade card:


  • Orange (shade number 330), Oceanic (331) and Red Earth (364) discontinued
  • Sunflower (yellow, 344), Acorn (dark brown, 345) and Desert Pea (red, 346) included
  • Frost (312), Purple Storm (367) and Brick (361) included in the 10 ply range, with no existing 10 ply shades discontinued


  • Feijoa (615), Mid Green (655) and Mayfair (656) discontinued
  • Passionfruit (purple, 749), Coffee Bean (red-brown, 750) and Burnt Rose (pink, 751) included to the 5 and 8 ply ranges
  • The 2/3/12 ply range remains the same


  • Replaced by Alpaca Rich, a 60/40 Alpaca/Wool blend. The colourways aren’t particularly comparable


  • Russet (938) discontinued
  • Carbon (black, 929) included

The biggest change this year is the replacement of the pure Alpaca line with Alpaca Rich, an alpaca/wool blend. I don’t tend to use alpaca all that much so I don’t really have any thoughts either way on this change.

The changes that I took most notice of were in the Luxury colourways. I’m sad to see Oceanic go, as I thought it was a really nice shade of blue. Although I’m suffering from a stash management problem at the moment, I may have to stock up on some 4ply before it’s gone for good. The three new Luxury colourways, Sunflower, Acorn and Desert Pea, are of interest. Acorn is the nice rich dark brown that the Luxury line has needed since it was released. I suspect it will be fairly popular; hopefully popular enough that it sticks around for a few years. Sunflower and Desert Pea also look like good colourways, but they’re two colours that I’d want to see in the ball before buying. Shade cards are more useful than computer screens when looking at colours, but sometimes they’re not quite enough to get a good idea for what a particular colour will look like as a whole garment.

So, that’s the BWM shade card for this year. If you also receive their shade cards, I’d love to know what you think about this year’s card.

Wavy Line

Wavy Line, finished

Wavy Line Sweater by Sarah Dallas
Around 225g Grignasco Bambi in total, using light blue, chocolate brown and cream
3.75mm and 4.5mm needles

Start: April 2011
Finish: March 2012
Modifications: added about half a repeat (20 rows) to the body, adjusted stripes on sleeves to match
Ravelled: here

Huzzah, Wavy Line is finished and I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I like it! It doesn’t feel like it’s been a WIP for nearly a year, but Ravelry says I started it in April 2011, so it must be so. It was one of those projects that I worked on in dribs and drabs; projects that use four colours aren’t particularly conducive to commute knitting so it had to stay at home for the most part.

Over the last few years, I’ve managed to collect quite a few different colours of Grignasco Bambi. This pattern was a good way to put a dent in the collection. It took a bit of mixing and matching to come up with a combination of four colours that weren’t too loud, but I think I succeeded.

One of the drawbacks of using four colours in a pattern is all the ends it generates. I know I made work for myself by only carrying the two main colours, light blue and chocolate brown, up the side, but I felt that carrying all four colours could affect the tension on one side and make it a bit bulky. These are only some of the ends that needed to be woven in:


I didn’t keep a count of how many ends there were in total and I’m glad I didn’t. If I’d known how many ends needed to be woven in before I started, it’d probably still be unfinished. Sometimes it’s best just not to know.

wavy with skirt

The fit is a bit different to what I expected but I’m still happy with it. As I was knitting it up, I imagined wearing it with pencil skirts, but now that it’s finished and gone through the process of being tried on with other things from my wardrobe, I think it looks better with A-line and fuller skirts. The fit around the armpits is a little funny because of the unusual construction of the sleeves and armscyes. There is only a little bit of shaping at the very top of the sleeve and all armhole stitches are cast off in one lot, rather than gradually. This construction made setting the sleeves really easy, but the fit was probably not as good as a more traditional set in sleeve.

sleeve construction

If you are considering knitting this pattern, I highly recommend checking out this great post comparing the two patterns. It gives a really good rundown of the pros and cons of each pattern. For what it’s worth, I found the Sarah Dallas Vintage Knits version of this pattern pretty clear and easy to follow. It had a pretty big drawback in that the pattern only came in one size, but luckily it was the right size for me. It wasn’t the most enjoyable project I’ve worked on, but I’m pretty happy with the result and I can move onto another WIP that’s been kicking around for far too long…

The unexpected long weekend

This year’s Labour Day long weekend snuck up on me. Instead of willing time to speed up so the long weekend was upon us, I only realised on Friday that Monday was a public holiday. Surprise! Even with such short notice, I was able to quickly assemble a list of things to get done over the three days. The list only contained two items and both of them knitterly; to finish off my (unblogged) Wavy Line Sweater/Allouette, and to get to the armhole decreases on the front of my Jan Sweater. Now that the calendar indicates that Autumn is here, I really need to get a wriggle on and finish the two short sleeved tops that have been on my needles for a little while now.

dear Jan

I only managed to cross off one of the items on my list, which was to get to the armhole decreases on my Jan Sweater. The back is already done, so that should mean that I’m not too far away from finishing it. It’s been a fun knit thus far and expect (nay, demand) it’ll remain fun right up until it’s finished. It’s easy enough to work on while watching Mad Men, but the periodic yarn overs make it interesting.

wavy line allouette

Even though I didn’t end up finishing my Wavy Line Sweater/Allouette, I’m still pretty happy with how it is coming along. One side is completely seamed up, and I’m about half way through the other side. In theory, this means it’s even closer to completion than the Jan Sweater. I can’t say I’m enjoying the process with this project like I am with Jan; it’s been on the needles since April last year and I think when it is done, I’ll just feel relieved. It’s a bit of a funny pattern in that I originally saw it in Sarah Dallas’ Vintage Knits as ‘Wavy Line Sweater’, but then subsequently saw a slightly modified version, also by Sarah Dallas, in Rowan’s Vintage Knits. Even though I’ve been working on the Wavy Line version for nearly a year, I’m still not sure how I feel about a very similar design by the same designer in two different publications. It’s one thing for a designer to have favourite design elements which they use in a number of different patterns, but in my mind this skates rather close to recycling the pattern.

There were a couple of little distractions which meant I didn’t get Wavy Line/Allouette finished on the weekend and all of them revolve around the weather. It was perfect timing really, three lovely sunny (but not hot) days for the long weekend. You can never be sure if this is the warm weather’s last hurrah for this year, so I made sure I spent at least a little bit of time outside. Instead of seaming up my knitting, I did a wee bit of gardening:

wee garden

Went for a little pootle on one of my bikes:


And started a ginger beer plant. I’ll spare you a photo of the yeast/sugar/ginger/water mix. It’s not particularly attractive (or at least, less attractive than toilet paper rolls and potting mix) and I don’t want to scare the yeast into dormancy by taking photos of it. Making ginger beer really should have been something I did, or started, during Spring or Summer, but when your mind says ‘make ginger beer’, sometimes you’ve just got to go with it.

A wee vest for a wee girl.

I often wonder whether there’s a use by date for writing about ‘new’ FOs. For example, the vest mentioned in this post was finished in mid January. Now that it’s March, it feels strange to be writing about the vest, particularly when there was nothing stopping me from writing about it back in January (unlike Manu, where it was a gift that I needed to keep quiet about). I guess the moral of the story is to blog more often so I don’t have to ponder these things. Anyway, here’s a new/not really that old FO:

Baby Vest

Tummy Warmer by Angela Tong
175ish grams Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply, pink
3.75mm and 4.5mm needles

Start: January 2012
Finish: January 2012
Ravelled: here

In January a friend of mine had a baby girl. To celebrate this occasion, I wanted to knit a little something for the baby. Although I have knit a couple of things for babies in the past, I’m not really attuned to the patterns that are out there, so when I started looking at baby patterns this time round, the selection was slightly overwhelming. After some deliberation, I finally settled on Tummy Warmer from Petite Purls. As an aside, if you’re in the market for babies’ and/or kids’ knitting patterns, I recommend checking out Petite Purls, there’s some cute stuff there.

Knitting in pink feels a bit foreign to me. To be honest, knitting anything that isn’t grey, blue, red or brown feels a bit strange. What is probably even more strange is the fact that I had pink yarn in my stash. It was left over from my ‘selling knits at craft markets’ experiment, and even though it was a heavier weight than what was called for in the pattern, I thought it would work well as a nice warm vest. As it turns out, I made the 3-6 month size with no alterations to the stitch or row count, and the vest came out with more or less the same measurements as it would have been using a 5 ply. It’s definitely too big for her now, but I’m hoping that when the consistently cooler weather comes, it’ll be the right size.

The honeycomb stitch used for the body of the vest makes it thick and warm, and adds a nice bit of texture. However, I found it a pretty tedious to work up. The yarn and needle combination just didn’t seem to suit the stitch pattern; whenever I had to knit into the front of the stitch, I needed at least two attempts to get the needle through cleanly. I suspect that the relatively unpointy needle, the looser twist on the yarn and the tight twisted stitch created a perfect split stitch storm. If I hadn’t been so good at splitting stitches, I think it would have been an even quicker knit than it was.

My favourite part of the vest are the buttons. They’re not necessarily the world’s prettiest buttons, but they do suit the vest well. The thing that makes them my favourite part is the fact I accidentally happened across them during the Pransell Declutterathon 2012™. I have no idea when or why I bought them, but I had exactly the number of buttons I needed, they were exactly the size I needed and they matched the vest. Serendipity.

vest buttons

It’s really quite a cute little vest, and these photos don’t do it justice (my age old excuse for not taking good photos of something). I find taking photos of baby items quite difficult, as I don’t have a small person to model them for me, and I’m not a fan of using dolls or soft toys as models. I could possibly go down the Posie Gets Cozy route and use a little person’s clothes hanger… Any suggestions would be gratefully received, as I highly doubt this will be the last time I knit an item of clothing for a baby.

If you are looking for a little vest to make for a little person, it’s worth considering this pattern. It’s quick to knit up and the honeycomb stitch means that it’s not boring (although I do suggest avoiding non-pointy needles and yarn that splits easily). It’s been a little while since finishing it, but from what I remember the pattern is easy to follow. It’s a winner.