Day 85

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I was reintroduced to today’s piece of 80’s cheese by one of the Grand Theft Auto computer games, then again is the epically awesome theatre performance of ‘Rock of Ages’. This band – Quarterflash, along with Juice Newton and Pat Benatar all hold fond memories and I will inundate you with more 80’s cheesy goodness this week.

The leotard is a little scary and bits of the video clip looks like it belongs in an episode of Doctor Who. Apparently, the 80’s had a fondness for rock quarries.

I knitted a pair of cap sleeves for one of my maxi dresses today. I am tired of t-shirts bunching up and adding another layer in this heat and we’re not even going to discuss the inconvenience and impracticality of a cardigan. Yes, I could choose to go without both but I was raised with certain guidelines for modesty that also have many practical and self-esteem related reasons behind their continued use. I have very fat arms and am very concious of them. Also, after so many years in sleeves, my arms are unevenly tanned and my shoulders burn within 10 minutes of being in the sun. But more than that, I don’t feel comfortable without sleeves.

I will likely make inserts for the dresses also to add coverage to the deep necklines. Safety pins closing the gaps can mess with the lines of the dress and there’s always the risk of it coming undone. If you have no cleavage, I imagine that it’s less of a problem. I have always been ‘well-endowed’ which makes the current fashions designed for much thinner women sometimes indecent on me.

I’m still sewing the sleeves to the dress but once that’s done I will take a photo and share it here.

I got a few more rows of the shawl done. There are several more places where there is no instruction to skip stitches which can lead to confusion. Yay for photos (again).

day 85A trapezoid in citrus shades joined the previous 84 pieces of the blanket today. This is one of the first trapezoid pattens and was so much easier to make than the last pair I designed. That’s not to say the others are hard but I didn’t have to think as much while knitting it.

Day 84

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I ave lived in the UK for 14 years. I don’t think I’ve had summer weather longer than 2 weeks at a time. We might get 3 of these fortnights throughout the 3 months of ‘summer’ but this year… ugh! June averaged 22 degrees, and so far July has averaged 24 though today was 29 which makes it the hottest day so far and despite the Met Office predicting a wet summer, we’re now getting ready for a heatwave. Now, the heatwaves here tend to level out in the mid 30’s but considering how the temperature is usually below 20 throughout the year (mean temperatures in winter are below 10 degrees, spring might get to 14), and that few places have any sort of air conditioning, there’s not much relief.

The magnificent Ann Miller says it all really.

And yes, this in-depth discussion of the weather may indicate I’ve been here too long….

Back to my yarn now. So the shawl I showed you yesterday – the pattern is ok but without experience I think people might have trouble. I’m having trouble and am very glad for the photos on her website but I will be ripping back several rows because by following the pattern I’m not getting a straight border like the one in her photos.

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And from that red yarn to this red and pink yarn which I love.

 

Day 83

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Why, oh why, is the allure of a new project so much stronger than the satisfaction of finishing an existing project? And why is that allure strongest when you are within a handful of rows from finishing something?!

I’m going to blame Ravelry. I have always had many proverbial irons in the fire but they were each from a different craft style. Now, because of the database of patterns and member projects on Ravelry, I have more projects than I care to admit to but I can assure that each will get finished by me…. at some point.

The problem, specifically, is this shawl :

Suvi’s Sunburst Shawl

I adore Art Deco and this is based on an Art Deco stained glass window in a municipal building in New York.

Also, I have appropriate yarn so I can’t even talk myself out of starting the project because I can’t afford the necessary yarn….

I haven’t done any crochet in many moons which was yet another temptation. You can see why I had difficulty not starting this project. I held off for 2 weeks though so I have some self-restraint. Yeah, I know. Pathetic. It’s going to be gorgeous though. See :

sunburst1

The yarn is the same brand and range as many of the yarns in my meditation blanket but not today’s one. I love this shade of green.

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I have forgotten neither mum’s tablecloth nor J’s sweater. Mum’s tablecloth requires limited attention, J’s sweater requires none except to change colour every 4 rounds. Crochet always needs more attention. Knitting has all of your stitches in action and you can feel your way through the workings. Crochet only has one stitch in play at any one time. You need to look to see where the hook goes next and this pattern especially has a lot of counting. Small numbers but small numbers repeated 20+ times. So yeah, crochet isn’t something I can generally do if there are others around or if my attention is especially slippery. This is why knitters/crocheters frequently have so many projects on the go at the same time – each one requires something different from the knitter. There’s tv knitting and, travelling knitting, gift and, lace knitting. Then there’s the ‘it’s a new technique and I am determined to master it’ project that you want to take your scissors to over and over again but every time you stop to look at what you’ve already done you feel a inexplicable pride in your own cleverness. It’s awesome 🙂

More BritPop today. I don’t know their origin but I kinda love these girls. Stooshe has been in my head today. I love the pseudo-’60’s feel of the music. Not all of it is like this but they’re a bit unique and I like their style.

 

Day 59

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Today’s music straddles the decades. The Screaming Jets formed in 1989 with their first album debuting in 1991. ‘Better’ is from that album.

blue shawlNo sweater knitting today. I’ve been working on the new shawl. I’m not quite sure where I will go next with this design. I’m trying to decide between continuing with the established pattern or if I will change the direction of the pattern and do something else. It’ll still be simple knit and purl if I do change to a perpendicular pattern.

 

Today’s blanket piece is all pink!

Day 59

Day 58

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I’m attempting to share 80’s Australian music with you for a week without resorting to Kylie Minogue. It’s surprisingly difficult – mostly because I actually like all that utterly terrible pop. Part of the difficulty is in the connections I keep remembering. For example, in the 90’s she became involved with the lead singer of today’s band and it radically changed her image. Yes, today it’s INXS. From their much celebrated album ‘Kick’ this is ‘New Sensation’. There are several excellent choices from this album but this was my choice. Not sure about the dancing by singer Michael Hutchence but that seems to be a theme in an alarming number of video clips – Australian and otherwise.

While I wait for hubby to go into the loft, I’m going to start work on another shawl design (and continue to type up the epic pattern for the first shawl). This one is going to use the same basic design ideas but will have a different combination of knit and purl rows, and a longer, shallower triangle shape. This one will be blue and will only use one ball of the yarn I have chosen.

Before working on the blanket today, I got the shoulders done on the sweater today, and most of one front. The construction is tricky to explain but I’ll give it a go. Part of the back is worked first, from the underarm to the shoulders. The stitches are then divided between the 2 shoulders and the neck. The right then the left shoulder and fronts are worked. At this point the body is then worker in the round. It’s actually pretty straight forward once you work out where everything goes and I’m enjoying it more than I expected.

Another piece placed in what appears to be limbo for the blanket today. I swear it will all make sense.

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Day 56

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More Australiana for you today. John Farnham made a comeback in the ’80’s with the song ‘You’re The Voice’ which is from an album I still love. By 1990 he had become a much loved fixture in current music. This is one of the most beautiful ballads I have heard. It’s simple, a little raw and heartfelt.

And so the epic venture that is typing up a pattern begins. I’ve not written a shawl pattern before so I’m a little unsure about approaching the formatting of it but I think I’ve worked it out. I’m nearly done with the knitting, close enough to it that I feel confident enough to finish writing the pattern while I wait for hubby to go into the loft for another ball of yarn for me. It’s already a big shawl, which are my favourite sort, but it’s still got another 50 or so rows to go.

I’ve really enjoyed this process actually. When I started knitting this shawl, I knew what shapes I wanted and that I wanted to keep it fairly simple. I have kept the stitches to knit and purl, and used a single type of increase. The numbers are straight forward and you can see the pattern as you work. I’ve used DK-weight yarn and knitted it with slightly larger than normal needles for the yarn weight to give it drape and softness. And while it could use a little blocking to straighten it up, it isn’t necessary which means that once the knitting is done it can be worn straight away. More pictures when it is finished.

day 56There is a lovely comfort in the simple stitches.

More simple stitches – a large triangle in shades of green.

Day 55

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Oh how I miss some of the 80’s pop/rock. Today is an Australian delicacy  – IceHouse fronted by Iva Davies and his epic mullet. The song is called ‘Electric Blue’ and it kinda haunts me. Can’t say why but it’s another of those songs from when I was 10. I should probably work out what was happening in my life at that time for the music to be so significant and ‘good’ in my mind.

There is so much music I’ve rediscovered from searching for this song. It’s very hard not to just fill this post with links to Australian music from the 80’s….. Maybe I should. Cold Chisel, 1927, John Farnham, Midnight Oil, Redgum, Noiseworks, INXS…. so many choices.

This has also led to rediscovering the Eurythmics and the stunning Annie Lennox, The Police, Paul Simon among many, many others.

Maybe I should make some sort of playlist on YouTube. If I do, I shall share the link.

sekku 4I got a few more rows of my self-designed shawl done today and started a new sweater for my friend J. It’ll be grey and pink stripes and looks very pretty. There’s not enough to photograph yet though. And I still haven’t chosen a pattern to knit with the yarn I bought yesterday which looks like this –>

And this tiny grey square…

Day 55