About 2-3 weeks ago I finally broke down and started downloading some podcasts. I had heard about a guy in Australia that did a pretty good podcast so after I listened to all the episodes of KnitPicks I headed over to Sticks and String and David Reidy. According to his tag it’s “A podcast by an Australian bloke who knits”. I think you'll find David’s voice comforting as he talks about knitting, bushwalks, fun sounding fibers places like Nundle and Dendendaloom Alpacas. Listening to David is like finding a new friend. He hasn’t been knitting forever so is discovering new techniques and sharing his excitement of these new things with us – his friends. David has some standard features to his podcast: an introduction with what’s been happening in his life over the week ("well, it's been a busy week..."), an essay on a knitterly topic, frequent interviews with people in the knitting and fiber animal world, music, and book reviews. His life includes taking the train 2 hours each way down the Blue Mountains to Sidney to work so David has plenty of time to knit. Oh- one feature of his podcast that naturally makes me quite happy is the frequent reference to Tikka and Tiger, his cats. This makes Bert and Chief happy too.
In one of David’s podcast he interviewed Margaret Stove of New Zealand. She is the author of an amazing sounding book “Creating Original Hand Knitting Lace”. With the renewed interest in lace I’m thinking this is a book I need to get. Currently the book is pricey on Amazon because it's out of print but in the interview Margaret said it will be reprinted soon.
We all need to explore the world however we can. If we can’t go places because of money or time or physical ability to travel, we can at least discover the world through the eyes of other people like David. I have been pleased to learn more about Australia beyond Russell Crowe and Crocodile Dundee!
On the cat front, Chief and Bert have been very busy helping me get ready for Christmas. Every box I empty of decorations becomes a new place to explore. Bert has been absolutely beside himself with all the exciting sparkly things to nab. The kitty tunnel is becoming filled with all the things that mysteriously disappear from the table. I put the tree up a couple nights ago and left it bare just to test Bert's reaction. Chief, of course, is ever the gentleman and will politely leave the tree alone (I hope!) Yesterday I put up the lights and the unbreakable ornaments. So far- so good. I'm hoping when I put up the breakable ornaments Saturday morning everything will be safe.
I few posts ago I mentioned I made some slippers by following the basic toe up socks idea and using some bulky weight yarn I had sitting around. These will be a Christmas present. They're warm and comfy and I hope will please the recipient.
Every year I give Dad a pair of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Woodman's Socks for Dad. This year because he's now in "a home" I decided they had to be rugged and able to survive the washing machine/dryer over there. These are made out of Woolease on size 6 needles. They're quick and I hope Dad will remember they are his "special present". (Bert tried to get in several of the pictures including this one)
Enough of the socks (for a moment). I'm starting a knitting class with several of my friends the first of the year. So I'm trying to make up with some easy patterns for them to learn techniques with. This hat is knit flat on bulky yarn- 10.5 needles. It starts with 10 rows of garter st. By then they should be ready to try knit and purl so the body of the hat is stockinette. The top will then add k2tog to their skills. Finally the hat will be sewn up on the side to teach seaming. The pink bow will end up being a big button to close the garter band which is a tab like a pair of pants. I'll come up with a few other patterns to keep adding new techniques and have them complete some items quickly.
Back to socks for the next one. My SIL is a fire captain. She wears the big boots and gets chafed legs. When she was here in November we talked about the new fibers and how some of them have wicking properties. Looking through the yarn company web sites I found corn fiber is wicking. I ended up finding Maizy at Little Knits. These socks will be a simple 3-1 rib and I'll be increasing a bit when I get to the calf. I bought extra to be sure these socks can be nice and tall and save her from "boot chafe". They will, however, not be finished for Christmas.
Finally, what happens when you mention "kitty treats" in my house? You get to see a kitty face up close!