Monday, 2 March 2009

Show & Tell

As I'm sure you're aware, last weekend was the Canberra Show. And you'll also be aware that little old had a few entries in the craft section. Seven to be exact (why yes, I do enjoy a challenge!): 5 in the hand knitting, 1 in the crochet and 1 in the sewing.

We arrived at the show at around 9am, and it was all I could to do not to sprint straight to the craft pavilion.

I managed to play it cool for a little while. We watched the circus. We checked out the tractors (well, it is an agricultural show, after all).

We dropped into Flyball Central to say hello to Kylie and Trent. Where Trent tried very hard not to spoil the surprise for me.

And then I casually sauntered into the Pavilion.

There aren't any pictures (that I'm willing to show you!) of my face when I saw the cabinets. But to stay I was stunned would be an understatement.

Here are my entries with their ribbons:
What we have here, dear reader, are three (three!!) firsts, two seconds, and that little green rosette in the middle there? Well that just happens to be a Champion rosette for the novice (less than 2 years) crochet!

Clockwise from the top right, is the felted entrelac bag (first), Leisel (first), Evangeline mitts, Boheme baby jacket, U-Neck Vest (second) and Mrs Perkins (she's hiding behind her second place ribbon). In the middle is my Champion Boteh scarf.

I coaxed Mrs Perkins out from behind the ribbon for a portrait. This is my second one - Gracie's wasn't good enough for the show, and I don't think the judges appreciate the aesthetic qualities of drool anyway.
And is my Boteh (Rav link), displayed in the cabinet at the Show.

I'm not a great competitor; I don't do much in the way of sport, and competition generally makes me uncomfortable. But I was thrilled beyond words that the judge thought my crochet scarf was worthy of such a prize. I'm still all goose-bumpy writing about it days later!

I must take the opportunity to thank Quilting Mick for coaching me through the pattern for this. I would never have entered the crochet without her encouragement! And I'd like to thank my Mum and Dad, and my Beloved and....(cue music)

Seriously, it was great fun planning and working on my Show projects, and I'm already thinking about next year.

And now that I've conquered the crochet, there's the cakes, and the jams, and the vegetable sculptures, and the cats, and oh, do you think I could start breeding chooks, those ones with the fluffy feet, and ........

Sunday, 1 March 2009

There's something sweet and wistful

And so it seems that summer is officially over. Like Kylie though, I don't much trust Australia's understanding of our imposed calendar, and I'm pretty certain it will be a while before I need to break out the woollies (to wear, that is).

I was a very bad KAL-er for the Long Lacy Summer, although I was there in spirit! I got a little tied up with deadline knits (more on that shortly) and didn't achieve my aim of knitting something in actual laceweight yarn.

I do, however, have two FOs to log for the LLS, but sadly only crap-o-rama pics to go with them. In the interests of brevity, I'll spare you the typically drawn-out FO post and cut to the chase.

1. December-January-February Baby Sweater

Pattern: FBS by E. Zimmerman, from the Knitter's Almanac

Yarn: Lincraft cozy-wool, gifted by Bec and hand-dyed by moi (using Gaywool acid dyes)

Sticks: 5mm Knitpicks Options

Mods: Being so enamoured of the top-down seamless knit, I decided I could go one better than EZ's "almost seamless baby sweater" and do the sleeves in the round as well. Instead of following the pattern as written, I put the sleeve sts on waste yarn, cast on 14 sts between the front and back (for each sleeve), knit the body in one piece, then when back to do the sleeves. I made sure to take the sleeves off on a purl row so I could cast on the sts without interrupting the pattern.

I'm pretty happy with the result; the yarn and pattern seem to go together quite well. The gull stitch pattern went quite smoothly once I got the hang of it.

But therein lies the problem: before I got the hang of it, I cocked it up spectacularly. Right in the front.


Well, even if you can't, I'm sure a show judge would. It was intended as an entry to the Canberra Show, but with that mistake, it will just be worn (with great panasche) by the Princess instead.

It was a fun knit, though, and I might give it another crack for next year. I'll certainly file it away for future baby gifts because it finishes really nicely.

2. Liesel
Pattern: on Rav and also here.

Yarn: Fibreworks Lustre 8ply in colour #18

Sticks: 4.5 mm straights

This is a really lovely and straightforward pattern; I knit it as written for 30 repeats with 4 rows garter each end..

The photo above shows it unblocked, I'm afraid; I was not clever enough to remember to take any of it blocked before I handed it over as a Show entry. I will add some shortly, though, for it bloomed beautifully.

How did it go in the Show, I hear you ask?

You'll just have to wait for that story!

And so ends my paultry contribution to the Long Lacy Summer. I'm looking forward to Bells' wrap-up sometime soon!