C'est La Vie (because disappointment always sounds better in french) and a twice recycled $5 in Paris

How was your Easter long weekend wherever you were in the world? Mine ended up lovely, but the start was rather shitful. As briefly mentioned in my last post my guy had been working hard to get Sunny all jazzed up for our big holiday of the year, a mega road trip up to Byron Bay Blues Fest, an 18 hour drive north of Melbourne. 

We had such high hopes. We were looking forward to a nice slow cruise up north, a few days of camping and awesome music with friends, and an equally slow cruise home. I was determined to tick off a large number Big Things on our road trip (many Australian country towns over the last 4 decades developed a peculiar need to create a large tacky Thing for their town - an exhaustive list can be found here). 


Big Thing 1 - the Big Cherries (Young, New South Wales). 


Big Thing 2 - The Big Golden Guitar (Tamworth, New South Wales). 



Big Thing 3 - The Big Disappointment (Glen Innes, New South Wales).


Yep. Sunny couldn't make it, so we didn't make it. After 15 hours of driving we ended up on the side of the road and many conversations with our insurance company later we had to make the call and cancelled our trip. We were gutted. I won't lie - I cried a little. I was so bitterly disappointed for Matt. He'd worked so hard the last few weeks to get things spot on, and in the end couldn't predict the engine issue that developed after 2 days of driving. 

But. We had breakdown insurance, our festival tickets were insured and we were able to get home safely. It could have been so much worse. After 5 more hours of driving, 4 hours of sleep and an early Sydney flight we were back in Melbourne by lunch time the next day and on our way to the in-laws beach house in Torquay. After allowing myself one more little sleep deprived cry we have ended up having a lovely relaxing long weekend.  

Of course I've knitted like a maniac, and am currently teaching myself combination knitting to take some pressure off my arm. It's hard to explain, but it's a quicker way of knitting in the flat, which is easier on the arms and hands. You purl in a sort of cheats continental way, which creates twisted stitches, then knit into the back of the twisted stitches, also continentally,  which untwists them. Sounds weird but it is so fast and makes a hell of a lot more sense when doing it..... (see here and here for more info).

I'm so glad to be back knitting - and here's a project I finished a couple of weeks ago that was on hiatus during my arm treatment. A couple of years ago I made this jumper. Let's be real. It was crap. Unwearable. Ridiculous neckline, stupid wide sleeves. I didn't wear it once. But the yarn wasn't cheap, and I felt embarrassed to even consider donating the stupid thing to an op shop. So I unravelled it (and because the yarn was made of recycled cotton it's now twice recycled!), and reknitted an alternative stripey, the $5 in Paris pattern, a free top down yoke jumper knitted in the round. It was a fast knit, using 10ply on 5mm needles. I lashed out and bought myself a fabulous pair of Knit Pro interchangeable needles, and my word were they fast! I call them my Ferrari needles, and I am now utterly converted to using good quality super shiny metal circular needles. 



I wanted a slouchy fit through the body but quite a few knitters commented on Ravelry that the neckline was very wide. I cast on a size small, using smaller needles, and increased up to bigger needles after a couple of rows. I then did an extra yoke row to increase up to a medium in the body, and to be honest I'd have been happy if it was even larger (the design is meant to be fitted). I kind of forgot about decreasing arm circumference until about 4 stripes in, so they're fairly loose. I'm rather pleased with the outcome (compared to the previous incarnation). The neckline was still a little loose, so I carefully threaded some beige hat elastic through on the wrong side to cinch it in and it worked a treat.



I always seem to learn a new skill, trick or technique with each new knitting project, and this was no exception. I cursed Past Sarah when unravelling the old jumper as she'd cut and knotted each colour change with each stripe. So this time around I used a fabulous technique called the Overlap Join (from my guru the Techknitter of course) to knit in the new colour with each stripe - it means at the end of the garment there are far fewer ends to weave in, because you've already done it at the colour change. Life changing I know! I also used her marvellous instructions to finish off the last stitch when casting off in the round, to get a jogless finish. She's such a clever woman! 

Have you ever tried combination knitting? What's your worst holiday disappointment? Does anyone want to buy a Kombi? (Just joking..... I think....). 

Comments

  1. Once upon a time (1976) my best friend from school and I set off from Brisbane on an around Australia adventure in a 1966 volkswagon combi. We made it only to the outskirts of Sydney before Mzuri (Swahili for "good one") died. Hope you had great fun at the Blues Fest.

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  2. Oh that is sad Gail! At least, like us, you made it into the next state! Sadly we didn't get to Blues Fest as we were meant to be camping there.

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  3. Bummer about not making it. These things happen, I guess. At least you were insured and will get your ticket $$ back. Chin up chook :)

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    1. Thanks mate! We've very much come to terms with it, and oh how glad I am we insured our tickets!

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  4. Devastation! I'm so glad your knitting worked out well to make up for it. When I wAs much younger I travelled around Australia in an equally dodgy car that we managed to bog on the beach as the tide was rapidly coming in the north north west. That was the fastest I have ever dug!

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    1. Oh my that sounds scary! I wouldn't know what to do if I was bogged!

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  5. I'm sorry! I know you guys have been working really hard on Sunny. I'm glad your newly-recycled sweater is a bright spot amid the disappointment - it looks great! I'm not sure if this story will make you feel better or just remind you of your car troubles, but we took a huge road trip to my college reunion a few years ago, and decided to take the extra-long route through Idaho and Nevada (from Washington to California). Only a few hours in, some construction debris came flying at us and resulted in a tire blowout. More than anything I was glad to be alive so the disappointment was mitigated, but still! Cars!

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    1. Thanks Morgan! I was a bit like that amidst the disappointment - whilst our breakdown wasn't dangerous so many road accidents happen over Easter in Australia and I was just so relieved to get to the airport in one piece.

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  6. Oh no! I'm so gutted for you :( glad you managed to rescue some of your holiday though. Your jumper is really cute, yay for more breton stripes! I'm totally bamboozled by your description of knitting it, though thats not surprising...I still have trouble keeping my bog standard knit/purl knitting under control!

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    1. Haha it has been borne out of necessity! It's very complicated sounding but do some you-tubing and check it out!

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  7. Oh no!! So sorry to hear about your trip! Our worst vacation story is when we got food poisoning the first day in Paris, after a month long Europe trip. We made it to the Lourve and somehow the Eifel Tower right before we left, but the rest was spent in [the world's most uncomfortable] bed.

    I love your sweater though - it looks great! I've been learning how to knit, but I've only made a scarf and 1/4 of a sock... I would love to skip right to sweater making!

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    1. also realize I butchered "LOUVRE" and "EIFFEL" hahaha - I took Spanish in school!

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    2. Oh so your holiday disappointment was truly a french disappointment! How awful! I'm impressed you've tackled a sock as a learner knitter!

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  8. bummer. I got stuck with my parents in Berry last last summer when their car lost it's fan belt (I decided there are much worse places to be stuck, I purchased some wool while I was there......)

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    1. Ooh berry is lovely - not a bad place to be stranded, and I'm impressed you snuck in some shopping. There was a fabric store in glen Innes, but I think my husband would have lost his shit completely if I'd suggested that as a way to pass the time!

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  9. That jumper looks fabulous!

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    1. Thanks! It's definitely fabulous compared to its first incarnation!

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  10. Noooooooooooooooooooooooo! My dreams are dashed. You know I was living vicariously through you and now it's all... ruined. Ok I'll calm down now as long as you never mention this mishap to my hubby who has adjusted to and accepted the knowledge we will one day own a Kombi. I'm so glad you at least got home safely. The sweater is fab! Wow you must be awesomely fast to have completed that sweater so quickly! I've never heard of that technique and whilst I've always extolled the virtues of KnitPro Symphonies (wooden) i must say I'm tempted to try the metal. Might be a bit hard on my hands though...

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    1. Oh I knew you'd be sad for me! The jumper was a really quick knit on 5mm needles but those metal needles - they're the bomb! I think it's worth a go trying the metal - are your bamboos interchangeable? And you gotta look at combination knitting - took me about an hour to get it down pat!

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    2. Holy brainteaser. I kind of get it, but it seems problematic for knitting in the round, which is my preferred construction. And also for straight garter stitch of course. Might be interesting to take a better look at. And yes my needles are interchangeable so could easily try the metal. I've also heard the Karbonz are amazing.

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    3. Oh Im the same - gotta love the round! But I'm making a cardi in pieces so the dreaded stockinette in the flat is what drove me to it. If you continental in the round then it's still super fast and easy - you just knit into the front of the stitches as normal.... Wish I could hop on a plane, fly up there and have a stich n bitch session with you!

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    4. Oh yes, why didn't I think of that?? I'm knitting flat in stockinette at the moment which is why continental didn't work - purling continental is pure mental. But next time I knit in the round I'll go continental. The knit stitch is super wonderful! Yay for friends provoking brain waves. Get on that plane girl :)

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  11. KnitPro needles are wonderful. I have a set of KnitPro Symfonie double-pointed sock needles and they are pretty much the best thing I've ever bought for my knitting endeavours - worth every last cent I paid for them!

    It's a shame your holiday didn't go as planned, but I'm glad you were able to enjoy the weekend after all. It's so disappointing to be looking forward to something, only to have it taken away at the last minute. We once planned a long weekend in Lakes Entrance and the whole region flooded literally two days before we were due to leave. We went to Maryborough instead and it was lovely!

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    1. Thanks Katie! I agree they're such a good investment. Even the quality of the nylon cord is far superior to the brands at spotty or Lincraft. You know I think I'd pick Maryborough over lakes entrance - so much closer, no ticks!

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  12. Crappity crap crap. I'm so disappointed for you both but am glad that you ended up safe and home and following up with a little break anyway. Love your top. it looks great and the wide neck is a great feature.

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    1. Thanks Kirsty! Yeah it was decidedly average! But we've moved on!

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  13. I'm so sorry your big trip didn't work out; what a shame. Glad you were able salvage it a tiny bit in Torquay... I haven't heard of combination knitting, but am intrigued now. And that hat elastic trick is genius! Must remember that one. Great save - your jumper is just gorgeous. I've just resuscitated a dire old knit and couldn't be more thrilled with it...If only that could be done with failed sewing projects!

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    1. Thanks Danielle - gave me the opportunity to check out Joys Fabric and do some pick-me-up shopping! You've got to check out the combination knitting, it's very cool!

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  14. What a shame your combi broke down, but having owned about a dozen of them we know that they can be a bit on the delicate side! However, we still love them!
    Love your jumper though!

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    1. Goodness, a dozen...... One is more than enough delicacy for me!

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