Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mountain climbing

Canberra put on some pretty lovely weather for a photography/walking expedition with Bertie Mabootoo and E today. I must admit we drove all the way to the top of the mountain. But we did walk a good chunk of the steep track down and back up again.

Bertie and I have teamed up for something super-mega. I don't know what will happen next. (I need to figure it out though!)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wool for warmth

Mum's chadwick
This was finished about a month ago, but I kept thinking I might take the time to get a better photo. I had to mess around with the colour a bit, and my photoshop skills and not up to much. But doesn't Mum look beautiful? She's been wearing this scarf a lot - it works even better with her classy work clothes than it does with the weekend exercise gear here - and getting lots of compliments. Which makes me very happy.

Very very happy, because for a while there I wondered if I would ever find the right yarn combination. It all started when Mum tried on mine and liked the style, but even more importantly, found the soft merino and merino-cashmere yarns perfectly acceptable around her neck. My rule of thumb had been that she couldn't tolerate any wool in a scarf. (No allergy, she's just one of those people who are pretty sensitive to the 'prickle' of wool). I'd made her  a couple of bamboo scarves, but they're really not warm enough for winter, and this winter has been pretty cold.

I knew there were a number of soft merino 4plys, like Zarina or baby wools, that would suit, but I wanted one of the two yarns to have subtle variegation, like a hand-paint. I had a look in all of the local wool shops, and searched online. We wanted something in deep reds, orange or brick colours. And it had to be very soft. I didn't find many promising candidates. I did order some Dream in Colour Smooshy in a colour which looked promising on screen, but it  turned out to have small pink and purple elements, which just aren't Mum at all. I finally went back to my local wool shop for another look, and came across this Ella Rae Lace Merino in subtly variegated orange. The colour was perfect, but because of the name, its 'skinny' look, and the placement in the shop, I thought the Ella Rae stuff was a laceweight. However, I was so happy with the colour and so keen to find something, I thought I could try it doubled. It was quick work to pick something to contrast with it (Katia Merino Baby in a sort of brownish maroon).

Doubling the wool, however, didn't work. It was obviously too thick. Turns out it is considered 'fingering'/4ply weight. In the end the two yarns actually went together just fine - there is a bit of a difference, but it doesn't seem to matter. It was a similar situation with my original Chadwick shawl, the Knittery merino cashmere was a bit thicker than the Patonyle.

I do really love this pattern, fun and simple to knit and really nice to wear.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Melbourne weekend

I went to Melbourne last weekend, and on the flight down I happened to look out of the window as we travelled over the Snowy Mountains. Then on the way home, I looked out of the window just as the flight crew was announcing we were starting the descent into Sydney - and we were flying right past Canberra! I had booked my ticket a bit late and didn't get a direct flight. But I did not expect to look down and be able to wave at my neighbourhood on the way past. Strange and cool.
 I was serious when I said I wanted to eat this again. We went back to Borscht, Vodka and Tears with our cousin, who has also been to Poland. We all ate *well*. Yum.
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