New Post on Underground Tasmania

Posted 18 May, 2014 by perigrine
Categories: archiving, Exploration, Outdoors, photography

Tags: , ,

Updated 23rd August 2014.


See it here. Underground Tasmania.

Snapshot 1 (24-Aug-14 9-29 AM)

Tricksy pattern

Posted 16 August, 2014 by perigrine
Categories: challenge, dishcloths, knitting, sewing

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I cast on for the ‘Around we go’ dishcloth the other day, thinking it was going to be easy, and for the most part it was. Except, a) the rows aren’t labelled. So, I didn’t know which row was the inward one. Not a huge issue, but, annoying. Then b) the directive to “K1, yo, k2tog, K to yo from last row’ didn’t specify to KNIT THE YO. Finally c) ‘rep from * to * until down to 1 stitch,’ isn’t quite accurate. Unless you just ‘k2tog’ for the last outward row. Which I haven’t been doing. Another thing that I would have liked was a suggestion to ‘place marker on the edge’ so I wasn’t quite as confused starting the second wedge. I ended up doing it back to front and needed to frog it.

The new hex-a-cloth is done, and too small. Who would have thought the minute difference in yarn diameter would make THAT much difference? I’m sure it is still useable. I ended up using the ‘slip the last stitch to right hand needle, pick up a cast on stitch with the left, return slipped stitch to left hand needle and k2tog’ for the join.  I’ll try and do that with the ‘Around we go’ one as well.

The optical illusion dishcloths turned out well. I like them.

I still need to sew all the ends in on a few dishcloths, and send some down to my daughter.

Later today I am thinking about sewing ‘gear bags’ for the [camping] lunch box. Small cloth bags to hold the ‘kitchen clean up’ things, ‘crockery’, ‘cutlery’ and whatever else could benefit from being contained to a single bag rather than being loose in there.

More of the same

Posted 11 August, 2014 by perigrine
Categories: dishcloths, knitting

Tags: ,

I finished off the Optical Illusion dishcloth yesterday, but not without some issues.  I hadn’t twigged that the number of rows I was knitting did NOT match the number of stitches cast on. So with a few rows left, I wondered why there were still 9 stitches or so left to knit together. So I had to rip out a few rows and reknit, and skip a stitch on the cast on row every now and then. I didn’t do a wonderful job, but I should remember for the next one, which I started about 2 mins after finishing off the original. I quite like it. I can see another one done with red/orange, yellow/green and blue/purple rows. My second one is being done in the reverse of the original. Size wise it seems to be about right – about 7 inches across.

The 9 patch one I am doing in the sugar n cream I have. The orange is from a ‘super size’ ball, but is a fraction thinner than the ‘key lime’. I’m doing this with the recommended needle size from the band (4.5mm) but I am not doing 12 garter ridges, cos that would have been too long. Instead I’ve done 11. I did think to try the ‘purl last stitch/slip first stitch of the next row’ to get a nice neat, easy to pick up edge, but I gave upon that since it seemed to make it messy. I’ve picked up the next 12 along the side of the centre square and will continue with that. I like to do bits and pieces with knitting. A 8 inch square of garter stitch would bore me to tears. I expect I will make another 9 patch in the reverse when I’m done.

My daughter wont mind if the dishcloths I send her have been ‘tried’ – she said they don’t need to be brand new. This is good, since I think I have tested most of the dishcloths I’ve ever made. Some are too thick, some are too thin. I expect the 9 patch ones will be too thick for my liking.

But for now, I’m going to try and get the chooks into the guinea pig hutch.


Optical illusion dishcloth

Posted 10 August, 2014 by perigrine
Categories: challenge, dishcloths, knitting

Tags: , ,


This is working well. I have had to wangle a few extra stitches when picking up, but that was easy done. For the last parallelogram I am slipping the last stitch, then picking up an original cast on stitch (LTCO), returning the slipped stitch to the left hand needle and knitting the two together, which should save me having to sew that last bit to the original. The size is working out to a good size as well.

I am using the ‘invisible increase‘ and a SKP rather than the M1 and SSK. I think it looks nicer. I think with a knit cast on, rather than long tail, that would make knitting two together easier, but this is working for me.

But for now, time to finish it off…and start a new one :D

Dishcloth sizing and baking

Posted 9 August, 2014 by perigrine
Categories: cooking, dishcloths, knitting

Tags: , , , , , , ,

While cleaning out the blanket box the other day, I found yet another dishcloth that I’ve made. Except, I couldn’t remember which pattern I used, OR when I made it. It took a bit of leg work in Ravelry to find the right one. I had to search for short rows rather than ’round’ dishcloth. But I found it, and it is the Hex-a-cloth by Sew Funky. My original is too loose (4.5, 5mm needles maybe?), so I decided I would make another one. The original is double stranded, and so I found another two cottons, the variegated yellow in the original, and a thin green. Needles of choice are 4mm I believe. The actual fabric its making is denser, but the size is going to be stupidly small. So what do I do? Use an 8ply yarn and a 4ply? cast on more stitches? (er, I’m assuming the original has the same number as the pattern calls for, since I usually follow the pattern the first time.) I could use the American cotton and the right needle size I guess. I just measured the bit I have, and it works out to about 6 inches across. A vast difference to the 8 or 9 inch original.

While looking for the pattern, I came across this Optical Illusion dishcloth, and this 9 patch dishcloth. I’ve cast on the optical illusion one, using 4mm needles and double stranded 4 ply cottons. The cast on of 25 has given me a length of about 5 inches. I expect if I used the same size needles, (5mm) I might have made the 6 inches the pattern suggests the first block should be. I will need 9 rows of the starting color. I’m already thinking the next one should be 10% more stitches, and have one block in green, one in white and the third in green and white.

The green cotton is an op shop score from many years ago. I have no clue what brand it is, but it isn’t soft or fluffy, and it isn’t mercerised. Its a ‘rough’ cotton that works well in dishcloths. I have finally managed to ball up the first skein. In the picture above, is the second skein. I foresee a LOT of green dishcloths. My daughter has expressed a desire for more dishcloths, so this wont be an issue.

After many months, like, maybe 12, I finally finished (loose term) the honeycomb ‘dishcloth’ It took about 7 rows, and less than an hour, making me wonder why I didn’t finish it at the time. Again there is a size issue. I had cast on ‘enough’ to fit the pattern – cast on a multiple of X stitches, and what I thought would made a good size dishcloth. But the end swatch is about 10-15% too small. Probably could have done with another honeycomb row too.


While in town yesterday, and waiting for my cave pic to be printed, I went to the healthfood store and had a look around for yeast. I was mainly after ‘nutritional’ yeast but I managed to find real, fresh yeast! It cost me 1.20, and is about 128 grams. I think I should be able to get 4 loaves of 4 cup bread out of it. Yesterday evening, being rather impatient, I decided to make some bread dough ‘to see’. I had to dig out the old cook book and use the recipe in there, sort of. That called for 50grams of compressed yeast to 6 cups of flour. So, roughly, I figured 32 grams to 4 cups would be fine. I crumbled the yeast into warm water with a bit of sugar. Bypassed the ascorbic acid the recipe called for (don’t remember what that was meant to do), and left the bowl over another bowl of hot water, to stay warm.

When it showed signs of bubbles, and smelt awesome, I *sifted* (gasp, I never sift) 4 cups of plain flour into the bowl, then mixed it up a bit, adding some oil and more water to make it ‘about right.’ Did the usual bread things and poked it in the cold oven since I had planned on making it ‘tomorrow.’ After an hour or so, I gave up and peeked. Woo! it had risen! All by itself! it cant have been much more than 10 degrees in the oven, but it still rose. I had to have a taste. Then I had to knead it again, place it in the container I wanted to bake it in, after chopping bits off for a test run. I put the ‘loaf’ in the oven to do its thing over night and put the bits I’d chopped off into the frying pan to make mini Johnny scones.

They worked a treat! Absolutely brilliant, and a MUCH different flavor to dried yeast, and the bread itself was much..softer? finer? something anyway. Now, this could be because I sifted the flour first, but I doubt it.

I left the rest of the dough in the oven for the night, thinking that it would be fine, and I would wake up to a nice looking well risen, ready to be baked, lump of dough.

I didn’t.

What I found when I looked this morning was a spread out blob of bubbly dough. Google suggests I might have ‘over proofed‘ it. I didn’t poke too hard, but it did come back a bit. It should cook up ok, but I might need to try again. Its in the oven baking now. I had thought to scrape it all back together and shape it again, but I didn’t know if that would wreck it totally.

Either way, it is smelling awesome about now. :D


Posted 3 August, 2014 by perigrine
Categories: cooking, dishcloths, knitting

Tags: , , ,


Back to dishcloths. It seems I knit these about this time every year. Which is good, but I do not need any more! I don’t think I have worn out ANY in what? 8 years? There are still some missing from that assortment. A lot don’t have the tails sewn in, mostly because cotton doesn’t weave in properly. I probably should attempt to do it, since the new ones I washed ended up with tangled strings, and yanking them apart made them break near the actual cloth. This may mean unravelling later. My daughter has expressed an interest in having more, and someone else said they would pay for some.  I’ve just remembered some more half made in the other room, with cables, from last year. I’m not sure I’ll ever finish those, coz I will have forgotten what row I was up to. I really want to try a linen stitch one, on the diagonal.

Linen stitch is defined as “Row 1: *K1, Sl 1 wyif* /Row 2: *P1, Sl 1 wyib*” Over an even number of stitches. I think I would need to have the border like Eloomanators or Revenge. So,

cast on 3.

K1, INC, K2. (4)

K1, INC, K3 (5)

K1 INC, K4 (6)

K1, INC, *K1, Sl 1 wyif*x2, INC, K1 (8)

*P1, Sl 1 wyib* (8)

K1, INC, *K1, Sl 1 wyif* x3, INC K1 (10)

*P1, Sl 1 wyib* (10)


Of course, when I tried it, I forgot to slip the stitches with the yarn in the right position. But it should work.

Last pic is the coffee and date loaf made by hand from the recipe I invented a while back. The Man seemed to enjoy it, enough to take the rest with him.



Northern Caverneers

Caving club webpage


my (sometimes) crazy explorations of Tassie wilderness and mountains


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