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Yarn, needles, books, kitties, chocolate and stash.

Updated: 2016-02-06T03:22:43.384+10:30


A few hats.


Over summer I got out of the habit of both knitting and blogging. The last week or so has been a lot cooler and has inspired the completion of a few projects.

B's I want a slouchy hat.
You know, the hat she decided she wanted after teasing me about my hats saying they looked like trees and onions. Brat.

It's the Slouchy Copy Cat Hat by Terra Jamieson.

2 balls of Cleckheaton Country 8 ply
4 and 5 mm circulars.


Also finished is my hat, Marquess by Ashley Knowlton.

I skein of Naturally Harmony in 8 ply.
3.75 and 4.5 mm needles


Bye Bye Damson = Destash


Sometimes a project just sits around niggling at you. Not growing or getting any closer to being finished, but still taking up space both in your home and your head.

Currently Damson is that project.


Problem #1 I have managed to stuff up somewhere and my stitch count is out, by 1, but I can't see where.

Problem #2 I really don't like it enough to spend the time fixing when I can cast on something I like much better.

Solution - Destash.

7 balls moda vera angora blend in teal + 2 currently knitted up
2 balls moda vera angora blend in brown

I am asking $8 for the yarn + postage.

Let me know if you want the knitted part frogged and rewound or you would like to play with it as is and I will thread some yarn through the live stitches.

Anyone interested?

Goals for the New Year


This year has been a year of drifting along, dealing with things and ending a few too.

I am looking forward to being a lot more settled and structured in the New Year.

For now I am making a list of goals I would like to happen in 2010.

* Get medical situation under control
* Find a job
* Get bicycles for both B and I -I would like a basket on mine. Dorky, I know :)
* Finish a few more things
* Pass on yarn I am not happy with. Trying to use it only makes me stop knitting and takes up space.
* Play with spindle
* Make time to get together with other knitters more often
* Learn to use the spinning wheel
* Use the loom
* Sew some more
* Participate in Ravlimpics and make Rogue for B
* De clutter books and cds
* Go to the beach at least once a fortnight.
* Add to this list as I think of things.

Progress happens in a non orderly manner.


Why is it that as soon as I get close to finishing something I want to cast on something new?

I have several projects sooooooooooo close to being finished.
A few ends to weave in, washing and pictures to be taken. Nothing that would take a super long time if I focused and just did it. But knitting is fun and the one area I can totally ignore things like should and could. The biggest consequence likely to be that it will get cold and I will have to weave those ends in to wear something before I leave the house. Or just tuck them in my sleeve which is much more likely.

Miss B has added to the startitis this time. After paying me out about Porom and Gretel, she has decided she would like a slouchy hat after all. She has chosen the 'Slouchy Copy Cat Hat'.


K mart were nice and reduced their Cleckheaton Country yarn to $2 a ball. It looks like B may end with some mittens as well.

I am playing about with a few shawls as well as trying to focus on working on some older stuff too. For now that means I have picked up the fuzzy feet


and have been working on them as well as Damson


I still want another Ishbel and and and......



Ishbel by Ysolda Teague
4mm Addi Turbo
1 Ball of Bendigo Luxury 4 ply in Ruby.
Size Large.


Ishbel has been done for a while and I love it. It has been worn and worn and worn again. I love how it wraps around my neck but the ends don't get in the way how a scarf does. I also need to practice my blocking. Those points don't look very pointy. I think it has something to do with not casting off loose enough. I want another one of these. Maybe in ruby again or maybe pink.
I keep meaning to get a better picture but that now looks like it won't happen until the weather cools down again.

Summer has hit with 39c days and we are melting. The funny thing is now that the weather has warmed up, my knitting mojo has returned. I am back to knitting a bit most days. I am still not knitting the amount I used to but it is nice to be back in the habit of picking up the needles.

It is also nice to see a little progress on projects that have been sitting around for way too long.

Mail and balloon blocking.


I love receiving mail, especially when it's from a fellow blogger.

2Paw was holding a giveaway on her blog and I managed to snaffle this lemony coin purse, perfect for storing stitch markers in. Thank you so much Cindy.


I decided to block some beanies on balloons and see how it worked.

Firstly Porom, because although I had worn this hat a few times I had never actually blocked it.


And then Beanpole Beanie. (Ravelry link.)
Made using Cleckheaton Country 8 ply.
4 mm & 4.5 mm needles.


Both hats have come out considerably larger since their dunking. I am hoping they shrink a little while drying but it looks like I may have to reconsider what needle size I use for future hats.

Rogue snuggles


Rogue has been washed and worn many times since it's first bath. It has become my favourite snuggly jumper and has been prefect for the crazy windy weather we have recently had. Apparently it's perfect for kitty snuggles too.

(image) My sister and I have been spending more time together being crafty so projects are slowly getting worked on again.

Temperance is growing all the time, yet his tail still seems bigger than he is. He has his own personal feather duster following him around. Probably a good thing as I never did like dusting :).

1 Step foward 2 Steps back.


While waiting for Rogue to dry I decided to pick up something from the WIP pile to work on.

Cobblestone seemed like a good choice seeing as it is mostly done and I could do with another finished jumper with the weather we have been having.

So I picked up from where I left off. Or where I thought I had left off. - Attaching the sleeves to the body again.

This was when I realized what the problem with the sleeves had been before. Not that I had just knit one way too long but that one was knit a size M and the other was a size L. The super huge sleeve has been frogged and restarted.

It's raining again now and I am really wishing I had a few more of these WIP's finished.

What WIP have you had sitting around the longest?

Rogue in the tub.


I spent yesterday seaming. The result being that Rogue is officially now a garment.

A very dusty, grotty, furlined garment as you would expect after being dragged about in pieces for a year and a half. So for now she is in the tub taking a much needed bath. Pictures when she is dry and presentable.

Just when it feels like it's never going to end.


The Sirdar Town and Country socks feel as though they have been hanging around forever and I really wasn't enjoying working with this yarn. Scratchy, not so pretty colours and really I was just bored with them.


I am happy to have them off the needles and on my feet though.
It is getting cold at night and more knits are on my mind.

Forest Canopy Cowl


Forest Canopy Cowl

I used 1 skein of Malabreigo Silky Scrumminess and followed the pattern exactly.

What is even better is that it has gotten cold enough to wear it now.


I had been lazy and used a longtail cast on when making my previous Gretel's, but I really wanted to do this one right. I finally got brave enough to tackle the tubular cast on required for Gretel and while it's a bit fidley I love how it looks.


I have been sick for what feels like forever. Between being at the hospital, my doctors and in bed I haven't been doing much of anything except feel awful and whinge a lot.

I am feeling half human now and get to play catch up with everything that had been left and right now I am really not sure where to start.
The tafe pile is overflowing and I am not sure it is humanly possible to get it all done.
I guess all I can do is start and go from there.

CFS/ CFA beanie pattern.


I have modified theknitaholic's SES beanie with her permission and made up charts for the South Australian CFS volunteers and the Victorian CFA volunteers.

Unfortunatley blogger isn't playing nice and I can't post the charts on the blog.

If you want a copy just e mail me and I will happily send it to you.

Edited to add: Marg has posted the pattern on her blog for me.



Yes it's still me, Jess, Chocolate and Knitting.

Yarnsticksbooks just suits where I am at so much better and is much less confusing when going between here and Ravelry.

Thanks 2 paw for reminding me I forgot to say who I was.

Eeeek E mail problems.


Sorry guys, but it appears I am not getting all of your entries at the e mail address I mentioned in the last post.

Can you please leave a comment to let me know you entered.

I would hate for anyone to miss out.


Want a Gretel???


With 181 people confirmed dead, One thousand houses gone and over 4000 people now homeless due to the Victorian fires I was thinking about having a raffle with people donating to the bushfire fund to enter.The thing is, someone beat me to it and thought a lot bigger than my train of thought had been going. They have fantastic yarny scrumminess as prizes so I am sending you over there.Go look, donate and enter.......... Serendipity.As for me, I'd still like to know you donated and I'd still like to give someone a chance to win a Gretel. So go ahead and enter both here and there :)Here are the ones I made for myself and for Miss B's Nanna.I will be using the same yarn : Cleckheaton Angora Supreme.It will be black.Donate at any of the listed charities:For donations to the Victorian Bushfires Appeal:National Australia Bank BSB: 082-001 Acct: 860 046 797Or call 1800 811 700Donations can also be via the Bendigo Bank online or at any branch.Bushfires information hotline: 1800 240 667For donations to help victims of the QLD floods, Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal:Phone 1800 173 349Or donate at any branch of Commonwealth, ANZ, NAB, Bank of QLD, or SuncorpInternet Banking:BSB 064 013 Account: 1000 6800Salvos - Ph 13 72 58 +++can take international donations onlineRed Cross - Ph 1800 811 700 +++can take international donations onlineEmail me at inspired_by_chocolate at yahoo dot com dot au with how much you donated and put GRETEL in the subject line.Every $10 AUD you donate gives you an entry.So donating $50 AUD would give you 5 entries.I will be casting on tonight and entries will close when I cast off.Good luck and happy donating!!! Editing to add - Shopping at Coles today also counts as they are donating it's profits to the bushfire fund today Friday 13th February 2009.If you are anything like me today's shopping bill might be a little higher than normal as any chocolate purchases are totally justified.So once again tell me how much you shopped and purely for my amuzement tell me the percentage of chocolate vs food was in your trolley. :) [...]

Dropping in


I am currently working on my Forest Canopy Cowl and am nearly done.

After that I have a plan for something.

I am still working out the details as yet but check back on Wednesday.

Booga Bag a FO


Inspired by Tigers recent felted bag addiction I decided to raid the stash and play along.

Booga bag
5.5 mm needles
4 balls of Vintage Hues
I used Wendyknits mods for a bigger booga bag although I picked up more stitches along the sides of the base because somehow a different number popped into my head. OK it would be because I read the pattern the night before and thought I remembered the numbers and didn't bother to check. Lazy I know. It's holidays and I am allowed to be.
Anyway it worked out and I am happy with it.


Over The Fence


I have been meaning to chat in Over The Fence for so long and I awlays keep forgetting that it is Tuesday night. Usually I remember about Thursday but this week I actually remembered.

It was lovely to chat and get to know other knitters a little.

Rell, Red, Wombat, Brighidskiss, Kelebek , Z and Pips. Thankyou all for being so welcoming.

I fully intend dropping in again next week.
Now to go and knit with help from my assistant.....


Sneaky surprise mail


Last week I snaffled some yarn from Donna in a ravelry destash. Her stash is so much fun to raid.

Blue Zephyr.

One day I will be brave enough to play with this and not just pet it and drool over Victorian Lace Today.


Blue Grignasco Tango.
More blue, I have been working with pinks and purples and reds, which I love, but I needed something different to look at.

Also in the package was a present.
Who can argue with having a Birthday when surprises get added to your parcels?

(image) Not me that's for sure. I think I need more Birthdays in a year.
Miss B has been needle felting and here is her latest creation.
Inspired by the Twilight series : Aro.

Knitting again


It's been a while since I really knitted much of anything or even picked up the needles for a while there.
Lately the mojo seems to be coming back thanks to a visit to Tigers where I sat and knit and remembered how much I like it.
I have been working a little on Rogue.
I finished a pair of socks and a beanie.

Trekking Socks.

Usual 72st stocking stitch socks.


Turn a square beanie by Jared Flood.
Must bribe Miss B to model for more than 5 seconds.
I used Bendigo Rustic in Midnight Tweed gifted by Kate and leftover Noro. I don't like the brown so much but it was fun to make.

Which means it's also time to play with some new yarn and give in to startitis. I can't have the mojo running away again ;p
Jasmine by Kim Hargreaves.
Cotton in 4 ply.
Not may favourite thing to work with. It feels nice but kills my hands.


And Eastlake by Norah Gaughan.

Love. Love. Loving this.

So is Temperance.

I have kitty assistance everytime I pull this out.
I have never had a cat that liked yarn this much and it's very slow going.
Knit 3 stitches, save yarn from teeth, knit 3 stitches, save yarn from claws. Repeat.

The yarn is incredibly soft and squishy so I can hardly blame her for liking it so much.




I have been thinking about getting another cat for a while but wasn't quite ready. I even looked at bunnies for a while. Black Kit Kit bunnies. That was the whole problem, whatever animal I looked at I wanted it to be Kit. I wanted it to behave how Kit did, miow how Kit did and most of all love me how Kit did. Kit greeted me when I came home, slept with me and rarely sat with anyone else, not even Miss B. She had chosen me and that was it.

I adored her just as much and for a long time was lost without her. Nothing seemed to matter anymore.

Lucy spent her time between Miss B and me, gradually spending more time with me than Miss B.

I gradually stopped looking at black bunnies and looking for black kittens.

I played with kittens in the pet shop. Cute, affectionate, but somehow not quite right.

I looked at give away kittens in the next street. Cute under the dirt and fleas, but still not quite right.

Two days before Christmas we visited one of Miss B's school friends. Their cat had had kittens.
Christmas eve Temperance came to live with us.


Yarn overs aren't so bad.


I still don't love them and much prefer cables, but yarn overs sure do make a pretty baby cardy.

I still have the sleeves to sew up and some buttons to find, but the knitting is all done.
I also have to convince a friend to have a baby and that it would be a really good idea if that baby was a girl ;p

Babies and Yarn Overs


I really seem to have trouble with yarn overs. I either forget to do them or I drop them way to

often for my knitting to look anything like how it is supposed to.

I know it is just a matter of practice and it probably wouldn't hurt if I stoped trying to watch tv at the same time. It's just that while I am knitting it is usually when I am also watching tv.

Elizabeth Zimmermann's February Baby Sweater has been on my list of one day I would like to make this list for a few years now, but I have never had a reason to make it and I wasn't about to play with yarn overs just for the sake of it. Sneaky dissappearing little things that they are.

Then I found out that my niece was pregnant. Out came the pattern and yarn. Out came lots of muttered swearing and two attempts later I have a collar and one sleeve.

It is actually looking like it is supposed to.

I may have done a happy dance or two around my loungeroom.

Then sister came over and told me that my niece had a baby boy. Eeeeek.

Can anyone suggest cute boy jumpers?

6 Things About Me


I have been tagged by Kate to do the the 6 Things About Me meme.

I think there are some rules about tagging six others once you are done and letting your tagee know when you have posted your 6 things.

Anyway, here goes.........

1. I forget passwords incredibly quickly.

5 seconds after I have thought of that word or phrase that I can't possibly forget - I have forgotten it. Yet I can ask Miss B my password from some thing I signed up for 6 months ago and she can remember it off the top of her head.

2. I read my horroscopes every day.

3. While I could now be sleeping in the middle of the bed seeing as I have it all to myself, I somehow find that I still stay on my side. I'm not complaining, making the bed is much easier this way.

4. I don't like my foods touching on the plate, unless it is gravy on top of my food.
I happily eat combinations of food, but I have to have been the one to combine them on my fork.

5. I don't mind doing laundry and washing dishes, but really dislike vacuuming.

6. I'd rather mow the lawn than vacuum. It doesn't have to be done as often and it has no weird corners or things in odd places to manouver around.

I think most people have done this now but if you haven't, then consider yourself tagged and let me know when you have posted. I'd love to read your 6 things.

Casting off, ripping and casting on.


Casting off - Porom.

I saw this on Brooklyntweed's blog and had to have it. I raided the stash for the totem I had bought last year when spotlight had a clearance.
Like any other hat I make Miss B gave it a nick name. This one is affectionately known as the onion hat.

Pattern by Jared Flood.
Yarn - Patons Totem 2 balls.
Needles - 4mm and 5 mm.

I ripped the purple Koolhaas. The Moda Vera Mousse is just too fuzzy and was looking worn out while still on the needles. So it is back in the stash and I am wondering if it would felt........

I have also cast on a something pink with yarnovers in it. I may just be crazy.