Archive for the ‘Little things’ Category

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.

Testing, testing…

This is possibly the most boring post you are ever likely to read. It’s also possibly a slightly disturbing insight into the workings of my mind. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

Acquiring a new appliance or gadget always comes with a mildly obsessive testing phase in this household. Earlier this year we bought a new iron and for the first few weeks, I ironed shirts and trousers and skirts and handkerchiefs as soon as they were dry. Ironing clothes is a fairly common chore so this probably doesn’t seem that extraordinary. However, we have a policy of minimal ironing so it was quite a strange phenomenon for this household. The iron still gets used relatively often, but not with quite the same amount of joy or frequency as when it was in its testing phase.

Recently I determined that some of my knits were looking a bit fluffy and/or pilled and the de-pilling comb I was using wasn’t really suitable for hand knits. After a bit more research than was probably necessary, an electric fabric shaver was purchased. It’s probably a bit more than I was expecting to pay, but I read a lot of good things about it on Ravelry, which had to count for something, right?

Today it arrived, and before you could say ‘please stop writing about de-pilling knits Emma, it’s disturbing’, I had taken the vest I was wearing off and was removing woolly fluff like it was my last opportunity to do so, ever.

For those wanting relief from the ins and outs of my pilling solutions journey, my first victim was my Grandfather Vest. This vest really deserves its own ‘where are they now‘ post, because it’s probably one of my most frequently worn knits. My initial misgivings about the fabric appearing uneven were soon forgotten. In fact, the only real issue I’ve had with it is that it looks a bit fluffy and daggy with all the wear it has had. This is what it looked like before I took to it with the fabric shaver:

fluffy vest

And after:

unfluffy vest

The difference between the two photos probably isn’t that great, but I can assure you that it took off a *lot* of fluff. The vest probably doesn’t look completely brand new, but it’s looking a lot less daggy. Decidedly undaggy, even.

Now I’m assembling a mental list of all the items of clothing Matt and I have that need de-pilling. All in the name of testing.

Little things: new buttons

I recently bought a new winter coat. The colour, cut and warmness factor were, and still are, all really good, but the buttons weren’t doing it for me. It almost seemed that they were dyed to match the coat, but it didn’t quite work.

So, off came the old buttons, and on went the new ones.



Much better! The buttons are a dark blue acrylic, but have a nice mother of pearl sheen to them. It almost goes without saying these days, but they came from Buttonmania. It’s nice to see how a small change to a garment can make all the difference.

New boots

DSC_1503 (1).jpg

Inspired by one of our lovely Tokyo hosts, I recently picked up a pair of cheery gumboots in anticipation of wetter weather. Luckily for me, the sunflowers in my backyard match my boots perfectly, and provided a good photo op.

These are the first gumboots I’ve owned as an adult. They’re not quite as shooshy as the gumboots I used to have that had smiley faces on the soles (quite frankly someone needs to do something about making adult-sized gumboots with smiley faces on the soles), but despite that drawback, I still like them a lot.

Unluckily for me, the gumboots turned up a week after the big storms. No matter though, I will impatiently wait for puddles I can slosh around in and mud to trample through.

Today is a fabulous day…

…for I found a pair of knitting needles that match my bike.


Little by little, my life is becoming complete.