Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Needles and Hooks and the Launch of a Local

In Class 5 in Steiner/Waldorf schools in Australia, the children start crochet. (Rudolf Steiner actually indicated that it should begin in Class 2, but in Australia, we knit English style, with the yarn held in the right hand. If you knit European style, with the yarn held in the left, transitioning to crochet is much easier. Therefore, in Australia, we wait until Class 5) After years of knitting, they are ready for a new challenge, and in my experience they really love it!
They often make a bag, and in my daughter's case, a backpack for school. My daughter then decided to make a little one for her little brother! Sweet!
I've started another one in rainbow colours. Double crochet all the way with 16ply wool and a 7mm crochet hook.
 We have had busy hands around here, having launched a project involving sixteen 11/12 year olds and twenty-three skeins of Peace Fleece . we are making a blanket for a beloved teacher of six years, but sssshhhh, it's a secret.

 There's a bit of fair isle, intarsia and one colour patterns. Lovely!

And on my needles is a special cowl just for me me me!!!
The pattern is the Dovetail Cowl by Carina Spencer, and I'm knitting it with some divine yarn from Tanis Fibre Arts 
Orange Label Cashmere Silk and Merino
Worsted weight
Colour: Sand (It's very silver, with a tiny but very strong speck of yellow occasionally)

And finally, I am very, very  excited to have in my possession the newly released US edition of Melbourne writer Anna Branford's most splendid book, Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot!!!
What I like about the illustrator for this edition, Elanna Allen, is the fact that there are loads of knitted stitches in her drawings!

Here's Anna herself with the delightful little tome in hand!

Congratulations Anna!!
May many many American children enjoy discovering your delicious little free thinker, Violet!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


It is about mid August in Melbourne, when the wattle is turning mustard and the giant magnolia trees suddenly blossom, that I start feeling hopeful for the return of warmth. Sure, it's a little out of touch with reality. We will get plenty more freezing night and icy winds, but the blossoms signal hope, change and moving on!

As for the knitting, nothing will stop me!

I finished another hot water bottle cover with Fair isle patterns on both side, made in 16ply pure wool from Uralla Wool Room. This is what my daughters did in Class 4 as part of the Steiner/Waldorf craft curriculum. Ravelled here.

How to make your own Fair Isle Knitted Hottie Cover 
Cast on 35 stitches with 6mm needles (16ply wool). 
Start with garter stitch (plain knitting) and knit about 4 rows. 
Then increase on every 5th stitch to give you 42 stitches. 
Introduce your second colour and just play around with patterns and colours.Once your piece is as long as the hottie, do a couple of plain rows, then knit 12,  then cast off 18 stitches (which means you have to knit up to stitch 14 and then pop stitch 13 over stitch 14 and so on until 18 stitches are cast off, and you should then have 12 stitch left to knit.)
On next row, knit 12, cast on 18 stitches using backwards loop method, and then knit remaining 12 stitches to end.
You can now knit some plain rows before starting your second fair isle panel, and end with the size garter stitch panel to finish.
Fold right sides together and sew up bottom and sides, then turn out through the neck opening.
Now for the "neck", cast on with double pointed needles or circular (for magic loop) around the opening. Preferably you will have an even number of stitches (36 works well).
Knit a double rib neck and  cast off !