Friday, December 31, 2004

Last post 2004

G'day all!

What a year it has been, both personally and from a world-wide perspective. Highlights include getting married in September and the honeymoon in Western Australia, lowlights include the results of the elections here and in the USA. And this rotten tsunami. It has certainly been a year!

I wish you all a wonderful, fibrey 2005, where all your dreams and none of your nightmares come true :-)

Tomorrow: I unveil my New Year's resolution!

anon! until 2005 - only 5 minutes away by the time I post this!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Merry Christmas all!

Wishing you a most wonderful christmas and a New Year that will bring all good things to you.

I'm away for a few days but will be back before New Year, I think. It is all a bit amorphous as I have left the organisation up to Nathan. I may be home earlier than I expect!

If no pictures work, don't be surprised - the storage site (image host) is down for Christmas.


oh no! No image hosting over Christmas!

G'day all!

Well I am a very bad blogger. I have plenty to say but no time to say it in. By breakfast tomorrow I have to seam up the baby jacket and the pilchers. I have to get a jazzy scarf done by lunchtime. The boobie scarf is finished and wrapped for the MIL. I took pictures, along with pictures of the scarves I am giving various of the women who will be at our Thredbo Christmas party.

I would've gotten everything ready except that we frantically tidied the house tonight and got ready for the rellos to come around, except they didn't. They thought they had cancelled, but I didn't think they had - nathan's cousin called saying she was working and could she do it some other time? I didn't realise that meant her brother and her parents wouldn't come either. As it turned out, her brother had a prang (well he didn't really cos he wasn't driving at the time...) and her mum's car blew up tonight so they had no way to get here. But we only found this out at 8:45 this evening, when I was getting *very* hungry.

So instead of tidying, I could've been knitting and sewing together baby clothes! I would've been much happier. I also would not have cut my finger on a knife whilst doing three loads of dishes.

Topping it off nicely, there is not point me putting up pics cos my image host is being brought down for Christmas. It is a university machine and they have a rule that all non-essential machines be turned off for the Christmas break. Eeek! Hope that doesn't mean until after New Year! How will my blog survive?

Ah well. At least we don't have a basement. This means no pipes can burst in it because of the cold, unlike what happened to the Yarn Harlot. Of course if pipes burst here in Melbourne because of the cold, it would be *extremely* unusual because it never freezes here.

I hope to blog quickly tomorrow before we take off for the wild blue yonder. Thredbo is roughly 7-8 hours drive from here so we are driving 300km tomorrow night and then enjoying the rest of the drive (after taking on the mad Christmas rush of shopping on Friday morning) up into the mountains.


Saturday, December 18, 2004

Runaway train

G'day all!

Can any tell me where this year has gone? I was happily knitting away in winter, then started spinning on a hand spindle in spring and suddenly it is Christmas and I seem to have lost a year!

Just like everyone else it seems I am madly knitting in the leadup to Christmas. So far, I've only got two FOs to show for it - the diagonal scarf and the little black bag of bling that I made for my boss boss as her Kris Kringle.

And a closeup of the dragonfly button I used as a "clasp" and the stitch-work (mostly slip stitch on the coloured work). I dyed the yarns a while ago and have been itching to use them in something.

Tassin wasn't in on Friday. D'oh! I wanted everyone to see the little bag of BLING! I have strange ideas that maybe other people might want one too and might be willing to pay for one. I made Tassin's bag big enough to take a decent size wallet - most of the bags are just little things, big enough for an iPod or a mobile phone. Those ones are fun to make and don't take much time - an evening and they are pretty much done. Tassin's bag took about three evenings and several 23 minute train trips.

Heh. We went wassailing on Friday night. We went earlier than normal, which was good cos we could see the music this year (sunset is after 8:30pm here). As we wassailed around the block, this 3 or 4 year old boy went bolting past. Noone was bolting after him. So half the wassailers took off in hot pursuit and boy could that kid run! The rest of us waited. Then noone came along looking for him. He didn't like us singing. He didn't like anything. He wouldn't say what his name was and he wouldn't say where he lived - obviously he had been told not to talk to strangers. By now the he was getting pretty fractious, so one of my friends rang the police.

Turns out that he lives almost opposite the person who organised the wassailing. She thought it might be James but he wouldn't say that was his name and was pretty non-cooperative. He had been chasing a cat and did not appreciate being cut off in his pursuit of the cat. He was in the care of his Grandpa. James is a bit of an escape artist. He knows how to use keys and which key is for the front door. Grandpa had locked the front door and taken both sets of keys, but James knew where the extra special spare set of keys were, so he got them out and opened the front door to chase after the cat. Grandpa didn't notice cos he was changing the baby's nappy. Poor Grandpa was practically having a heart attack racing around the block looking for James with the baby in the pusher. The police had turned up when James had decided that maybe he would say where he lived. Grandpa's come racing back cos he met up with other wassailers who went around the block to see if someone was coming the other way. The copper's given Grandpa a grin and James a stern warning. James just tried to belt the door in so he could get inside. Totally unconcerned. Most of the adults were gobsmacked by his disregard for his own safety but what do you expect of a little boy who has just turned 4?

Better get me moving on the mother-in-law's scarf. Remind me to not knit things for people next year. Nathan's socks won't even be a sock before Christmas.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004


G'day all!

It is PANIC time! Yes, only 11 days to Christmas and I have not finished all the Christmas stuff. I don't think Nathan's socks are going to get done - I still have his mum's Boobie scarf to do, along with the Kris Kringle bag (which is waaaay OTT) for my boss boss by Friday and I have to work up some presents for the inlaws. Fun fun fun!

No pics today - gotta do too much!

But here is a link to a, ahem, "craft" that I haven't seen take off yet.....


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

G'day all!

It's been over a week since my last post. Sooo many things have happened. Topping it off nicely my computer access was dodgy and blogger wouldn't let me in and then I forgot what I wanted to say. Still can't remember but DEAL!

We have some pics on the menu today. I am going to show off the things I have been doing, except for one thing because it is for a friend for Christmas. Maybe I will show it off later. Maybe I won't. I can be a naughty tease sometimes!

Firstly the baby gear - the "soakers" or baby bottoms or golly, what did mum call them? Pilchers!


You'll have to wait to see the jacket - somehow the front is longer than the back, though they were the same length before I steam-blocked them.... Oha nd the pilchers aren ot yet seamed either...

The lovely sleeve knitted of some randomly coloured "baby pastels" cotton that I recently and the Bendi cotton I got way back in July. This is a pattern from 1000 Sweaters. It uses a *moss stitch* cuff - any Americans probably call it seed stitch. I am Australian. I call it moss stitch.

Pink and blue and green and white moss stitch cuff

Note the pretty colours of the cuff. The Bendi cotton is very matt whilst the other appears mercerised and quite shiny.

A scarf made from the odd ends of a lot of different yarns using a multidirectional diagonal pattern. I think I will send to a friend in England who particularly likes turquoise (gosh she has good taste!):


There are lots of different textures in the scarf and it seemed quite warm around my neck the other day.


Three bags of much bling. OK, three bags that are not yet finished. I'd like to sell these ones, once they are put together!
black bling bag

yellow and green bling bag

blue and purple bling bag

I made some gelati - ever so simple! 3 cups of fruit puree, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 egg whites. Only it turned into a monster as it churned and came exploding (slowly) out the top and everywhere else!

the gelati that ate Melbourne

Finally, the skies here have been like this a lot:

blue clouds over Clayton

Only often with lightning bolts - suddenly it seems we have moved to Sydney and are getting subtropical weather. A huge low pressure system is bringing warm/hot moist air down from the top of Queensland - that is three or four thousand kilometres away!

For those who want to know, it seems my father is getting better. Hooray! There has been plenty else happening at Casa Shandley recently but I think I'll leave it there for today.


Wednesday, December 01, 2004

A tale of woe

G'day all!

Oh what a tale of woe!

I am using Nathan's computer whilst he is out. My computer won't boot. Earlier in the week it crashed the browser repeatedly, to the point where I relogged in to my yhaoo! account 5 time in half an hour. So Nathan tried to fix it and now it won't work at all... Woe is me!

Plus my elderly father had a fall and broke his hip and is not in a good way so I am all in a dither. I think I'll have to drive to Geelong (about 1.5 hours away) to see him. I don't want him pegging it without me seeing him. But I won't get there until the end of visiting hours now cos it is peak hour as I write this and it will take an extra hour for the trip. I hate driving in peak hour traffic too, particularly as I have a manual car.

On the good side, our housemate is now our ex-housemate. Hooray! Her behaviour has been causing quite a great deal of stress. Now we have the place to ourselves - it is too big for only two but for the time being it is just right!

I have been madly knitting - currently the sleeve for a cardie for me. I am using a pattern out of 1,000 Sweaters, just to see how it goes. No I am not using the yarn called for - either Jaeger or Rowan. Can't afford that! BUt some good Bendi cotton, well that is the ticket, plus a ball of cotton I picked up at Wondoflex when I bought me a niddy-noddy to skein up my spun yarn. I had a spinning frenzy on the weekend and spun up some yarn at a Thanksgiving dinner (no I am not American but American friends wanted some friends to join them for dinner. And no I couldn't have any turkey cos it had normal breadcrumb stuffing - no turkey for thanksgiving!). People were absolutely fascinated by the spinning. I am making a Boobie scarf for my MIL, and I still haven't done the neckband of the baby jacket nor sew all the seams together. BAD me!

Honest, I will get pics soon but at present my computer stuff is all out of whack and I can't access some of my files from Nathan's machine cos it thinks it is naughty for him to see half of the pics I've taken...

Well that is it for the time being. Hopefully Nathan will work out why my machine leeps looking for a hard disk that doesn't exist and I'll get my machine back soon!


Friday, November 26, 2004

Bye bye burkey

G'day all1

Well what a sad day it is in my household. The last show of Burke's Backyard screened tonight. It has been part of my life for over 17 years. OK, so Don Burke is probably at least partly to blame for the 1990s proliferation of front yards that consisted of a weeping silver birch as a specimen "tree", a pathway lined by miniature English box hedges and standard Iceberg roses, then feature paving or white pebbling. Ick. I forgive him. After all his own garden is very relaxed and very Australian. And he has written a book about it that I am itching to buy but it seems to be Nathan's turn to spend our money at present.

However, on a good note, the baby bottoms are nearly sewn up. They are rather amusing, being mint and creamy white stripes. Pics when it cools down - the mercury reached 36 today and I am still trying to cool this end of the house down. I can't be stuffed making the effort of finding a clean bit of floor. Then I have to steam/block the jacket, sew up the shoulder sleeves so I can do the neckband and then sew it together. Voila! Done! Almost....

I've been having fun with my teensiest spindle. It is a bit wobbly but I am spinning yarn on it that is like mediumly thick sewing thread. It is quite amazing. I have noooo idea what I will use it for. Even after plying it will probably only be laceweight. Maybe I should start spinning on a bigger spindle....

Here's a pic of Nathan in some rainforest last weekend. That is a Nothofagus cunninghamii or southern beech he is standing under. Such fabulous plants. Great rich red wood in some too :-) Tree ferns all around. He didn't get any leeches on him either.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

never ending baby clothes

G'day all!

I am in baby clothes hell. No matter how hard I knit on this baby outfit, I don't seem to make much progress. Others moan about sleeve island and then break out the margueritas, I moan about baby clothes knit in 4 ply! :-D

Of course I am making progress. I have done most of the top - it needs to be seamed and have the neckband and crocheted tie done. (One day I'll learn how to crochet well enought that the chains are even and noice.) It may just be that my new fibre is calling to me and I really want to spin rather than make baby clothes. Or maybe I want to start the next summer top, now that I know I need the shapely tank to be a bit longer bodied. Then again, I might knit something out of 1,000 Sweaters because unlike many knitters I know, I am small enough to fit into the medium or large sizes! The largest size are 38"/97cm bust - that's not big by any means! Except for the three sack shaped things... Still it is an interesting book for getting ideas. Plus it shows you how to do different neck treatments, different sleeves, pockets, belts....

So whilst I knit the stripey bottom of the baby outfit (short legs, enough to cover the nappy, stripes to amuse me - they really are amusing me cos it is mint and cream and looks delicious!) I can think about the new summer top in Bendigo cotton. Hmm. Must send in my order for more cotton too. $10.50 for a 200g cone! That is fab value. I am going to get the cones because I don't have a swift or a ball winder. I have to use the back of a chair and wind centre-pull balls by hand. Slightly tedious, especially when we are looking at 1,000s of metres of cotton. White cotton. White cotton-wot-gets-grotty-if-trawled-all-over-the-floor (we do vacuum! With a top of the range Dyson, but the carpet in our rental house is getting rather sad).

Apparently this is me:
Knitting Adventurer
You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer.
You are through those knitting growing pains and
feeling more adventurous. You can follow a
standard pattern if it's not too complicated
and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've
started to experiment with different fibers and
you might be eyeing a book with a cool
technique you've never tried. Perhaps you
prefer to stick to other people's patterns but
you are trying to challenge yourself more.
Regardless of your preference, you are
continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as
well you should since your non-knitting friends
are probably dropping some serious hints, these

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hmm. Well the baby bottoms sure are an adventure! I have the sizing from one pattern and the design from another pattern! Hopefully the twain shall meet!

Here's a picture from our adventure on Sunday. Cement Creek, place of many leeches, taken from the safety of the metal walkway through the rainforest. Yep, we have rainforest less than 100km from the centre of Melbourne. Have I ever mentioned how fab this city is? :-D


Sunday, November 21, 2004

Fibrey goodness

G'day all!

What a full on weekend! Shopping (nearly $100 of fruit and vegies! Eek! But the organic shop took a far whack of that!), front end alignment of my baby (car), a trip through the Yarra Ranges, which was pretty fab I must say, even though I was attacked by two BLOOD SUCKING LEECHES! Silly beggars, they just looped up my leg looking for a good spot instead of hunkering down for a feed. I would've (note the correct grammar there - would have not would of!) not even noticed them if I had not felt somethings sorta cold and squidgy squirming up my leg.

Almost best of all, well certainly bbest of all for ongoing entertainment value was my trip to the Handweavers and Spinners' Guild of Victoria. Most excellent! Too many pretty spinning supplies. I went there cos I needed a pair of carders for my alpaca fleece. The dog brushes I bought were just toooo small - they only have brushes about the size of my palm (large woman's hand) and the wires were extra sharp and pointy, causing several nasty skewerings (yes, I had a tetanus shot last year, against doctor's advice cos they said I didn't need one. Ha!)

So I have some lovely student carders:
slightly used carders

Darn good price I believe too - $48.50 for the pair.

And here is some of the carded alpaca on my new spindle, made by yours truly from a toy wheel, a Tas oak dowel and a little ingenuity.
fuzzy alpaca wool spinning

Only problem was the fibre that managed to fly out of baskets into my arms:

soft fuzzy bright goodness

The 50 gram disc of amazingly lurid merino in orange, pink and yellow, which I am already starting to spin up cos it was soooo pretty.

sparkly black goodness

The silvery black mix of merino, alpaca and silk - not normally my colours at all but I thought it would be good and manly for someone.

multi_coloured goodness

The multicoloured merino silk that will match, within reason, my first serious lot of spinning - hopefully I'll be able to finish off a tote bag with this lot, eventually.

yummy icream fibrey goodness

The berry good mix of raspberry and blueberry merino and silk that I thought could eventually be a good present for my MiL next Mother's Day. After I've spun it and made something fab out it of course!

Heh. This quiz amused me. I am the Brute Squad!


Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

Monday, November 15, 2004

Some mental notes

G'day all!

Today's mental notes:

  1. Knit socks on 2.5mm needles - they seem to work out better. Certainly neater fitting.
  2. Knitting socks on 2.5mm needles seemingly takes forever.
  3. Knitting socks for largeish husband's feet definately takes forever.
  4. Frogging socks knitted on 3mm needles makes surprisingly small balls of yarn.
  5. Do not set up a BBQ on top of a wooden desk on some cardboard. Especially on the wooden verandah of a wooden house.*
  6. Change the kitty litter that sops up the drips from the BBQ before they catch on fire.
  7. Don't put the burning BBQ down in the driveway where your housemate can drive in and hit it. Car 1, BBQ 0.
  8. Don't expect said housemate to decide she wants the desk after a great big char mark has been put on the desktop.

*yes, my husband and his mechanical engineer mate DID this. Don't ask me why. They thought it was great. Don't mind me, I'm just a girl, what would I know about the likely outcome of flammable materials and BBQs?

Here's what my new sock looked like:
big hot sock

Here's what a sock looks like after it has been frogged and hand wound into a centre-pull ball:
little not sock

Here's what the new sock knitted on 2.5mm needles looks like:
lonely new sock

Here's what the new sock for BBQ-brained husband looks like at this stage:
porcupine of needles

It is a porcupine of needles but the yarn (search it for Patonyle) is really soft. I have no idea how well it will wear, but it is definately meant to be sock wool, with 20% nylon to toughen it up. At present, since it is only the tip of a sock, I think it looks a bit obscene somehow, like it is an item of intimate men's clothing, only a bit shorter than most men would admit to....

I hope you liked the flannelette sheets and pollowcase that don't match each other or the body pillow case. I thought it added a certain je ne sais quoi to the whole image.

Finally, here is your rose for the day, one of my very favourites. I give you David Austin's Graham Thomas:
20 buds and flowers of Graham Thomas


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Lest we forget

G'day all!

Another Remembrance Day is pretty much done. I am ashamed to say that I was in a course and we forgot to observe a minute's silence.

Why do I observe Remembrance day? Why do I buy a fabric poppy from the crustiest old bloke I can find?

My Pop was an ANZAC. He fought at Gallipoli. If you have seen the movie Gallipoli, he almost undoubtedly was one of the blokes having a ball in Cairo, pissing off the British and blowing off the officers. He fought at the Somme. He went AWOL for 23 days after his leave ended in England, yet managed to avoid being shot or hung for desertion when he went back (his commander must've fought so hard for him in the court martial). He had part of his face blown away, and his injuries were so bad that he was thrown off the truck during a retreat. They thought he would not survive. But he did - he fell in a puddle which FROZE overnight, and he was found by the Germans, who patched him up some and swapped him (so goes my version of the story - I am not sure of its veracity). He was one of the early plastic surgery recipients, which would explain why half his face never worked properly, not in any of the photos we have of him apart from the ones from before the war. His lungs certainly were scarred by mustard gas and he only had one kidney. He loved the Gattling Guns - we have a postcard where he enthuses about how many rounds per minute they fired - and moved into the machine gun corps. He got busted from corporal to private several times - we have a card saying busted again. He didn't seem to get along with authority well :-) He would not talk much about the war itself, only about other things like how wonderful the French women were. I guess they found this tall, lanky, blue eyed, curly blond haired Aussie interesting too!

Pop died when I was nearly 10. He had a stroke and faded over a week or two. My strongest memories of him are being scared of this tall old man with wild curly top of white hair, always neatly trimmed on each side, and a really husky rough voice, disgusting slobbery kisses from a bristly old face, and seeing him in the hospital when he couldn't talk due to being paralysed down one side, with his blue blue eyes sparkling at me, pleading with me for something I could not read. He died exactly 60 years to the day from 1916 when the Australian High Command sent a telegram advising that he had been killed in action.

My father missed out on fighting in WWII as he was in a protected industry, working for Holden. Presumably he worked on building trucks and stuff for the war effort. He taught women how to weld and said they were the best apprentices he ever had. They listened, they learned and they did a very neat, clean job, unlike the male apprentices he took on after the war in his own panelbeating business. I think he missed having women working with him later, for they were much easier to work with and teach. I guess this gave my father an unusual grounding for a man of his era. After the Old Man moved into a supported care place, we found an old wallet in his wardrobe, a wallet asking him to an interview for the RAF/Royal Australian Air Force. I hope my sister kept that wallet, cos it contains precious family history. We can't ask Father about anything like this now cos his memory is shot. He is 86, so it is fair enough.

I buy poppies for Pop. I grow Flanders Poppies in my front and back yards. I love the way they grow wild from seed year after year. I love their blood red petals with the black spot at the base. I love their fuzzy buds and serrated leaves. Most of all I love what they mean to me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Interesting possibilities

G'day all!

Over the last few days much of my knitting effort has been aimed at sock knitting, especially my lovely new sock in progress - teal, green and navy marl. It is taking longer than the last ones - i don't know if that is a factor of the cotton/wool/polyamide mix or the 0.5mm difference in needles or what.

One thing fascinates me about knitting with double pointed needles. They offer so many opportunities to poke oneself in various parts of the body, particularly the eye. (Reminds me muchly of Flanders and Swann's "Design for Living" - "I'm delirious about our new cooker fitment with the eye-level grill. This means that without my having to bend down the hot fat can squirt straight into my eye!")

The possibilities are ENDLESS! I wear glasses for most of the day - blind as a bat without them - but if I decide to indulge in a little sock knitting in bed... oh dear! No glasses, so I bring the knitting closer to my face, which provides even more opportunity for me to skewer an eyeball or two! I watch the needles waving madly a centimetre or two from my nose - almost hypnotic! Nathan rolls over and the danger level rises. Will he bump my arm or my knitting just so?

Here's your rose for today's post:
Abe Darby
Abraham Darby, I think. Certainly an Austin.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

once upon a time

There once was a blogger called Lynne. Lynne liked doing knitting and playing with yarn and spinning stuff. But Lynne was a very bad blogger who didn't get the shots she wanted of her creations, so she talked about them instead.

Not so long ago, in a not very distant at all land, Lynne started making herself a new hat to replace the hat she had made that was a little small. She thought it was a very funky hat, rather similar to the one on Marnie's website (check out her free patterns) but it was too small and hurt her head when she wore her glasses (necessary for Lynnes to see beyond their own noses, which may be on the larger side but are not that big).

Then Lynne could not find the second ball of yarn she had bought especially to make the new hat. Nowhere could it be seen at all. So Lynne had to make the long haul from the edge of the city to the centre of town in one of her lunchbreaks to buy some more yarn from the only place in town that stocks it.

Lynne's mother in law sent home a picture that was their wedding present to us. In the bag, Lynne found something very interesting. She found that she had already started knitting the hat at her parents' in law place and had stowed the knitting in the bag with the painting.... so now Lynne had half a knitted hat and half of another hat knitted to a variation of the pattern, and neither the twain shall meet.....

So Lynne kept knitting on the second, now third hat and made herself a very nice new hat:
new funky hat in Ragamuffin. Note that Lynne was not wearing glasses when modelling the hat - be glad you cannot see all the photos that looked fine until Lynne put her glasses back on and realised it was not just her fuzzy eyes at fault.

The hat is knitted out of Paton's Ragamuffin, sadly discontinued, another synthetic yarn that can be a pain in the rear area to knit cos it will split madly given a chance but it looks like an abstract stained glass window and Lynne loves it!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Rain rain go away....

come again another day!

Well since Tuesday last we've had close on 100mm (4 inches for you old timers) of rain. Lots of honest to god stormy rain, but even more miserably drizzly rain.

Nathan and I got cabin fever and had to go out for a while today. Lord help us if we lived somewhere where you get blizzards and can't get out of the house for days - we can go out in this weather but it isn't as pleasant as it could be. It had been dully grey but mostly dry all morning. So I start driving and it starts PersISting down! Typical! And topping it off nicely, I discovered some sod had driven into my car and dinted the front quarter panel between the door and the wheel. Gadzooks I hate hate HATE drivers who damage other people's cars but think it's only a scratch, they won't mind.... Interesting isn't it that a cars guide I read said look out for little dings in the panels of the model car I drive because their OWNERS don't care about them! Hello! Can I open the door into the side of my own car and ding it? Do I ding other peoples' cars? Can I put a scratch into my back bumper by leaving my car parked legally and coming back to find someone has left a heap of white paint scraped into the turquoise plastic bumper? Or someone else has flung open their car door so hard that when it hit my car it left a 1cm deep dint and the car alarm went off?


On a happier note, I've finished the first green/red/orange sock. It is about 0.5cm too long for my foot but the whole package is pretty reasonable. I've altered the afterthought heel pattern cos it was too long, so I've tapered it in more quickly. I have pictures, I just have to photoblog them and also work out exactly what I did do in my alterations so I can do it again plaise! Also, whilst the width of the sock fits my foot quite well, it is saggy around my ankle. I guess that is cos I have broad feet and relatively slender ankles. I'll go down 0.5mm in needle size for the next pair. Cos there will be a next pair! Then I have to make Nathan some. Despite his being 195cm, he only has size 10 feet - minute for a bloke his size!

I am also making a couple more little snazzy bags for the market on Saturday, assuming Karen is doing the market. They might be reasonable sellers if I price them right.

I could really do with a good dose of sunlight right now. It is just so dull and grey. Not even my socks are brightening things up much!


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Birthday girl

Well it is not such a good day today. Looks like the American people have voted for blasted Bush. Like how STUPID are these people? Can't they see the damage his administration has done to the USA? And the rest of the world?


So the birthday girl is grumpy cos it is bad enough having an Australia full of idjits - we are nothing on the world scale. International bully boy America has voted Dubya back in. And if I go to the US, I will be treated like a common criminal upon entry - I have to be finger printed! Why? Cos I want to enter the USA and I might commit some crime or become a terrorist. As if! Do they think I want to be stuck in the USA on a permanent basis in some blasted jail or worse when I have my lovely Australia to live in? Hellooooo!

I did get some nice presents. Nathan carefully wrapped up the gifts I bought myself yesterday (guess who forgot his wallet?), well if you count carefully as being he couldn't find the sticky tape (of which there are countless rolls scattered around the house) so he just scrunched the paper up at the ends in the hope that would hold it together. He proudly stated that he had removed the price tags, as if I didn't know how much they had cost cos I picked them out and paid for them.... Then when I "unwrapped" them what is the first thing I saw? All the price stickers on the FRONT of them.

Nathan also proudly states that he hasn't a romantic bone in his body. It is true, all true. He did try today but really.... So I now have the soundtracks for The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers (already had RotK), the new Cecelia Dart Thornton book and the book You are what you eat, not that I wanted it particularly but I thought it would be handy for Nathan.

I think I'll hop onto Amazon and order me some more books. Can't get them here in Oz or they are more than double the price they are in the USA. That seems like a bit of a scam to me.

Elspeth sent me a lovely square gold brooch of a couple of Celtic dogs intertwined around each other. And the most bizarre card of an octopus made out of a banana peel. It is truly odd and inspiring. I think I shall stick it up somewhere where I see it a lot.

Did yoga for the first time tonight. I think I am going to be very sore tomorrow. Nathan is going to be very sore very soon if he doesn't get off his butt and make me my birthday dinner!

So my birthday this year is going to be pretty average. No romancing, only yoga, probably cooking my own dinner, and Dubya is going to remain president of the most powerful country in the world. Sigh.


Monday, November 01, 2004

finished objects, almost

G'day all!

It is over a week since I blogged. How bad of me! But it was a very busy week, what with being out two nights (including an SnB) and then having to deal with Nathan who seems to have pulled out of his flat spot, then a parental BBQ.

I've got some finished objects to show peoples. Yes indeedy! OK, one isn't really finished but I only have about thirty ends to weave in properly - and thought I had woven in at least half as I went along! Ack!

So here is the evil top of many loose ends:
oo la la top of many loose ends

It is made out of Merino Supreme. I dyed the magenta and purple myself and am very pleased with the variegated (or as a shop spelt it varragated!) effect. It is very flattering and makes my bust look enormous, or maybe that is just the camera and lighting. It isn't anywhere near that impressive, honest. My front porch, that is. Annoyingly, my skin gets slightly irritated by the neck and arm bands.

Then there is the cotton top that I ended up having to put beads in the eyelets - it seemed to have more eyelets than material when I tried it on....
first cotton tank

This is just some Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton. Bought cheap out of their backroom. Funny that they do cotton since they are a true woollen mill. Again, it is a fitted top and makes my boosage look quite impressive. The next one I make I'll make a bit longer waisted cos I need the extra length - it is belly button skimming and I want a little further down than that. Maybe I'll do a fancy edge on it or something if I ever get my hands on a good book.

Then there is this - an almost finished object.
do not adjust your monitor

Lurid isn't it - do not adjust your monitor! The yarn is very bright and I thought I needed to put it on one of my most lurid plants - a Geraldton Wax (chaemelucium but i think I've misspelt it), one of my very favourite flowers. We saw Geraldton Waxes in the wild about 100km north of Perth, but I think they may be a bit weedy there. They were all over the coastline. Obviously they tolerate poor soils and salinity pretty well.

There's a small problem - where is the heel? I've decided to do an afterthought heel and see how that goes. look ma no heel

The second sock is already started - I only started knitting these socks in earnest on Friday morning (I was crook and sock knitting seemed excellent). I am using Wendy's toe up sock pattern for the toe and will use Jill Schaefer's afterthought heel for the heel.

I love what is written on the socken labelen goodness label of the sock yarn - machine washable, ?guaranteed filz free (pill free?) and extra strapazierfahig. Man that extra strapazierfahig just makes it all the more special for me! Plus this "German" sock yarn is made in Italy is is Lana Grossa, which my very poor latin suggests means gross or big wool.

Here's your quiz - who is your Star Wars twin. My results, with nathan as my other are here. I am particularly pleased with being as organised as Han Solo and as sociable as a Wampa :-) LOL. Nathan is as neurotic as a Tusken Raider. LOL. I've done the test three times and gotten slightly different results each time.

Finally, my current favourite rose - Austrian Copper, of the R. foetida group. I love the overly heavy scent. Others don't, hence Rosa foetida.

Well that is your bloomin' lot for the moment, so enjoy!

Monday, October 25, 2004

What is it?

G'day all!

Last week I asked you to guess what this thing is:

Well this week, after receiving only one guess, I reveal the true nature of the beast. Drum roll please!


Yes, it is a new stashomatic!

It actually started off life as a seedling tray holder - have a look at Nathan's site using the humble garden stake for more info about how excellent garden stakes are as buidling materials. The really nifty part is that those ugly grey bits of timber, when planed, turn out to be all sorts of offcuts of lovely rainforest timbers and all sorts of stuff.

The keen of eye among you will note that there is the cousin to the Yarn of Satan in there. Yes indeedy, I VOLUNTARILY bought some lots cheap Lincraft YOS knock off, as reported last week. It will make excellent scarves mixed with the eyelash yarn and I am sure someone will like them. I do! *blush* I don't even mind knitting it as long as I have another thread in there. (that requires a really BIG *BLUSH*). It also has the cotton that I will be making some more summer tops out of and most of my WIPs (also known as UFOs).

Karen tells me to get big rolly boxes to stash my stash in but I don't have anywhere to stash such a big box! Plus my stash would only take up one box and compared with Karen's stash mine would feel totally inadequate!

I'm feeling enthused about knitting again cos I have finally completed the blasted scarf. The scarf is pretty short even though it has four balls of wool in it, all of which claim to be 100m long. Currently it is "blocking" on a bit of cardboard out the back. It has to go to its new owner by Wednesday night cos they leave on Thursday. It will be sad not to have Fred and Bonnie around but that is academic life for you - people have to go where they can get money to do their research. Or do what I did and sell their soul to the company and become a corporate slave. Sigh. All so I can keep a roof over my head and buy yarn. And keep my mad husband in some sort of style whilst he finishes his PhD.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Alien DNA

Ohmigod this is the scarf that would not die. Or at least it seems to be taking forever to finish it. It certainly would not offend Allah cos it has plenty o' mistakes in it - I looked at it this afternoon and realised I had stuffed up the eye all the way down in the sixth row, and I'm now up to row 82....

Here is the beast in question, or at least part of it:

Yes, I stuffed up on this part too - I am going to tell Fred that the DNA is decondensing around there :-) I am making the scarf in two pieces cos I want it to be "even" at both ends. Well it won't be exactly matching but both ends will resemble the other. Vaguely.

I must say that I am finding the cables more fun than I thought I would. I really have to learn or get faminilar with holding the cable stitches in my fingies, but for the nonce I am using a (much smaller) DPN. It suffices.

The other day i was knitting the thrummed mitt on the train and one of the four needles dropped onto the floor. I had visions of the Yarnharlot's loss of a DPN in the cracks of the trolleycar, but I was on a modern train and they don't build em with cracks anymore. Crack are just a good way to accumulate - oh let's just not go there!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Why I need a stashomatic

Hello world!

Well my blog is now at least on Google. Interestingly there is a new shop opening up in the US called Yarnivore. Guess I am not the only one to think this up!

Today's topic is why do I need a stashomatic? Hmm, well maybe this will give you some ideas:

Yarn for my next projects, lotsa cottons.

Things wot I should be knitting.

My multi-coloured yarns.


Pretty colours. Lynne colours.

Sea and Land.

Reds and oranges. Sick of it yet? Well there ain't much more to go....

I have a surprising amount of browns - not my colours!

Recent acquisitions in little baskets. This may give you a hint as to yesterday's question....

OK, so this is most but not all of my yarn. For starters for some reason some of the pics won't preview (ie probably won't display on this blog page) despite me checking the HTML and the names a dozen times. It doesn't include any of the yarns I have dyed or the pure wools/animal fibres. Nor the small amounts of spun yarns that I have. Admittedly my stash is not big enough to fill even a small room, let alone three or four rooms (not that I know *anyone* who has that much stash, not at all! ;-). But it does a very good job of covering the loungeroom floor if I spread it out.

Hmm, I really should do some pics of the thrummed mittens and the almost finished tank and the scarf for Fred.

Whilst I've been editing this post and fixing the pics (it has taken some time cos it seems blogger doens't like embedded tables and after getting all the code in I had to take it all back out again...), I've listened to CD 1 of The Wall (singing loudly and as called for not very tunefully), some SciFi music, now a bit of Tom Lehrer and soon I reckon a bit of B5 volume 2. Looks like I have to get the compilation album too, and the episodic CD of "and the Rock Cried Out." The latter better have that great gospel song that accompanies Lord Refa's despatch at the hands of the Narns. Have no idea what I am talking about? Google Babylon 5 and be enlightened. Even better, hire some dvds and then buy them. :-)

Monday, October 18, 2004

I still need a stashomatic

G'day to my loyal and hardy readers! I am sure there are some out there, surely? OK, maybe not so sure. The stats say I get about 28 visits a week, but I have a feeling some of those are me! LOL.

Firstly, a question. What do you think this is? More on it later! Maybe like tomorrow. Get your guess in quickly!

Over the last couple of days, I've been working hard on reorganising my stash. I used to have it organised by type of yarn. Now I am organising it by colour. Of course a lot of the yarns I have are multicoloured, which is making it much more fun to figure out where on earth to "file" the little beggars. I need a stashomatic!

On the knitting front, I am still sewing stupid little beads into the eyelets of my nice new summer top (must be doing something wrong with eyelets - they look so small and cute in the patterns yet these ones were showing off half my bra!). I only have about 8 stupid little beads to sew in now. Pics tomorrow I hope of the finished sewing. Then I have to do the neckband and the armhole bands.

I realised on Friday night that if I had given Bonnie (expert on sea "spiders") a farewell present of a possum and merino scarf, then maybe Fred, the leech man (aka world expert on leeches), and Bonnie's husband might like one too. So he is getting a merino and soie scarf. I'm even putting a cable pattern in it - my first cables since my first jumper which I made when I was 9 or 10. Pics when I've done a bit more of it - the cable is in its infancy at present. Some may recognise the cable pattern when they see it.

All of this is holding up the thrummed mittens, which I will definately have to give away cos mine fit a woman's small hand, so far, and I most certainly do not have a small hand! Indeed, my hands do not fit into most women's gloves without the same feelings as I get when I squish my feet into too small shoes. life is too short to have cramping, squished hands and feet!

Today's rant. Welcome to Connex. This is a service to Flinders Street. Except you can't get on it because we apparently enjoy tormenting our customers who change trains at Richmond to get the direct train. We will torment you by promising a train in 10 minutes, just after the train you got off (to catch the connecting train) has departed. We will torment you further by counting down the arrival of the train for 10 minutes, then at the 10 minute mark we will further torment you by saying it is two minutes away (ie you've waited 12 minutes), then run a Flinders St train on a platform 6 platforms away whilst saying the next train is on the platform you are waiting for. After 16 minutes, the long awaited train shows up. We have ensured your eternal torment (it will seem eternal) but only running a three carriage long train, ie half the normal length. By now there are somewhere between 500-1000 people waiting to get on an already full half length train that can only take about 500 people if they are really friendly, but we don't care. We will make a concession and run another train in four minutes, but it is full already too. You lost 25 minutes flex time? We aren't fussed by that! We have trains to run and because all you ignorant pig dogs insist on catching our trains, we now may have to pay fines cos our trains ran late since you all insisted on getting onto the train!

A little extra for you bug-freaks out there. On the weekend, we found this beauty stuck in the cobwebs in the corner of the kitchen. Yes, I have cobwebs in my house cos dang-it there are two other people who live here who DON'T have full time jobs so why is it up to the full time worker to come home and do all the housecleaning??? Anyway, this is a real cutie - the biggest stick insect I've seen outside a zoo. We took her outside and put her on my precious roses cos what's a few leaves compared to an enormous stick insect???