feels like christmas

After visiting the Hickey store this morning, I came away with three types of needles to aid me with my projects:

cable, darning & crochet

The first is a  cable needle required for knitting cables and something I felt would recreate the scarf that Agujas made for her husband.  In my quest to know more, I emailed her for the pattern and received the link for where it all started: The Garter Girl, a blog by Julianne Smith, the brains behind the “Burberry inspired cowl neck scarf”.

To think there are other people out there as driven as me when it comes to saving a fortune… One look at a $750.00 cowl in the Burberry catalogue and Julianne was away, determined to knit her own for a fraction of the price – exactly how I felt after seeing that Lowie cowl.  (Though it seems kind of petty now, stamping my foot over €47.99…)

Anyway!  I’m going to give that pattern a go and use my brand-new darning needles to sew the lengths together.  Once I’ve finished the cowl, I’ll then try a scarf with some tassels on the ends, attached with a crochet needle (4.5mm) which I think is probably too thick, but we’ll see how it goes.

In addition to these goodies are my new knitting needles and two balls of chunky merino wool – evidence that I finally went to Let’s Knit and Stitch.

chunky merino wool by sublime

I went there on my way home from Hickey’s and my experience was no longer than 15 minutes as my stamina was draining fast after a busy time on the Night Shift.  From the outside, the shop looks reasonably big, an impression assisted by a white minimalist sign and a clear window display.  Inside, however, the shop is a bit narrow yet comfortably so.  A table in the centre promotes the latest crafts magazines and a room at the back is reserved for chatting and knitting – where the classes for knitting take place, no doubt.

To be the youngest customer there at the time was frankly challenging for me.  I’m inherently reserved and tend to feel self-conscious as the “only Asian in the village”, but a shop assistant who seemed almost as nervous as I was approached me soon enough, sending me well on my way to buying a couple of chunky yarns with a pair of wooden needles I had often noticed on YouTube.  I even reserved the final yarn they had in the lavender tweed just in case two yarns weren’t enough.  (Let’s hope no one wants it before I do!)

And here’s my Kindle case so far:

work in progress

snug as a bug

While measuring the Kindle, it occurred to me how wrong the case could go without a gauge swatch, a method for counting the number of stitches per inch in accordance with the pattern, type of yarn and the way you generally knit.  Lucky for me, every stitch I’ve been knitting in samples are what you call swatch gauges, and though they’re not very big, they give me an indication of how many stitches I need to cast on against the pattern and yarn that I’m using.  Unfortunately, I forgot to estimate how many pattern repeats I would have to do alongside the measurements, so I am knitting the first half of the case and checking the length by using the Kindle itself.  (Also, I can’t help thinking that my seed stitch border has gone wrong.  It looks fine along the bottom, though it turns all smooth and boring as it climbs up around the edges… is that meant to happen?)

And my photos are getting better, aren’t they, now that I know how to use my bloody camera!  I used to have issues with how bright some of my photos turned out, but there’s this clever little thing called exposure compensation, which enables you to decrease or increase the brightness of the photo before it’s even taken.  I only discovered this feature after consulting the manual; in turn understanding how to focus the lens based on whether the boxes turn red or green (the latter being “focused”).

Feel a bit foolish now…

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