Friday, May 16, 2008

Book Review - A Knitter's Book of Yarn

I first heard about this book someone's blog (but can't remember who!) and it sounded like my kind of book. I love to know how and why things work the way they do and knitting is no exception.

So I borrowed this from the North Melbourne library on Wednesday (Box Hill library also has a copy) and I've finished reading it already.

The book is 255 pages and is divided into three sections, Fibre Foundations, Making Yarn and Ply Me A River and a fourth section at the back that has resources, glossary, recommended reading etc.

I found the first section, Fibre Foundations, the most interesting. It's all about the different types of fibres, where they come from, their properties and what those properties mean to your knitting. For example, Cashmere comes from the Cashmere goat and is sooo expensive because each goat produces only about 170-227g of of fibre each year! The fibre is very light weight, 30% lighter than wool, and very warm, 8 times warmer than wool, and it's not as elastic as wool. It has relatively short fibres which mean it will pill more than some other yarns because the ends of the fibres work their way out of the knitted fabric and get tangled with each other. Interesting, isn't it?

The second section, Making Yarn, is about how yarn is spun, dyed and a bit about various places to get your hands on it, eg fibre festivals.

The third section, Ply Me a River, is the biggest section (163 pages) and is devoted to the different types of yarn plies and patterns for each type. I only skimmed this section. The patterns were OK but my Ravely queue is already long enough :)

I summary, I highly recommend this book! I'm sure it will help me make better yarn choices when substituting yarns in a pattern (actually I don't think I've ever used the recommended yarn!), and I just like to know these things too :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Handy pouches

I made these late last week. The blue one was for my mum for mothers day. I spent an hour in Spotlight choosing the fabric. Then when she saw the one I'd made for myself she wanted that one! So I gave her both of them :) I used this tutorial but I bound the seams on the inside to make it neater (forgot to take a pic of that, will do next time).

Off to make another for myself now.

Dodgy crumpets

I attempted to make crumpets as suggested by Pip but they didn't turn out so well :(

I think I didn't put enough yeast in, never mind, I will try again!

I went to a SnB on Saturday. It was in Ringwood East and organised by Angela via the SnB Melbourne group on Ravelry. It was so nice to sit around drinking coffee, knitting and chatting and the girls were all very nice. If you live in the area I'd highly recommend coming along to the next one on May 24th.

And have you heard that June 14th is World Wide Knit in Public Day! Some of the girls on Ravelry are organising a KIP, possibly at Fed Square so take a look at this thread if you're interested in coming along.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Meaning of Life

When I was at uni (about 12 years ago, yikes!) I had this really weird moment. I was walking to one of my lectures, past a patch of garden that I walked past every day, and I noticed that it was covered in hundreds of mushrooms that hadn't been there the day before. And it was like a flash went off in my head, I thought ... they weren't there yesterday and they will be dead in a couple of days, such a short life, so what is the point of their existence???? ie WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE!? That might sound kind of lame to you, everyone has wondered about the meaning of life at some time, but it was a really strong feeling, like I'd been shocked, it was really weird (and kinda hard to convey).

Ever since then I've been pondering this question, I used to like thinking about it on the way home, squished into Melbourne's overcrowded trains full of other people thinking their mysterious thoughts.

So far my pondering has led me to the simple conclusion that the purpose of life is ... to be happy, whatever that means to you.

What do you think?