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???

Monday, October 11, 2004

Spring fever

Hello to my readers! It is nice to be able to say readers - there are at least two of you I know!

As I rode home on the train today, I started doubting my own sanity. It was a nice warm spring day today in Melbourne - about 27 degrees C. Apart from a couple of days in WA and when we were driving, it is the warmest day we've had since April.

So why, WHY am I knitting the cuffs for thrummed mittens? Indeed, why am I knitting them now instead of sewing beads into the eyelets of my new summer top? I finished the front yesterday and now it has to have the shoulder seams sewn up and the neckline band done, so WHY AM I KNITTING THE THRUMMED MITTENS?

I can only ascribe it to spring fever. Any other suggestions?

First day back at work was OK - spent a lot of it with a new starter. I am at a loss about what to do about work - until Nathan has finished the fud and has a stable job, I have to stay where I am. Someone has to earn the money that pays the bills and keeps us at a reasonable lifestyle level. I just feel that my skills are not being used particularly well but am at a loss to figure out how they could be better used in this job. Or other jobs for that matter.

Here are a couple of nice spring flower shots:

roses and apples growing together
Rose and Apple - members of the same family

yellow claw flower or verticordia
Verticordia - one of my very favouritest (yes that is not a real word) flowers.
You can find some pretty pics here of them in the wild.


Sunday, October 10, 2004


Hello to you all out there! Including the ones who don't know this blog exists. LOL.

This has been my last weekend of freedom for a long time to come. Blah. Back to the four letter word in the morning. Ick. I've had just over a month away from it and I've enjoyed not having to drag into the city every weekday. But something has to pay the rent and the bills and buy food and most importantly YARN!

So what have I been up to? Carding lots of alpaca fleece! And discovering that:
1) I am allergic to some component of the dirty fleece - today I've had a "heavy" chest and feel claggy inside.
2) It is better to card the dirty fleece to get some of the dirt out, then wash it, then card it again, if you want the cleanest whitest fluffiest fleece (of course chocolate coloured ones will always have brown fleece). I've tried carding it, spinning it and then washing it - comes out a grotty shade of brown/grey - obviously dirty. Good for ferals maybe but not what I wanted. I've tried washing it then carding it, then I've had to wash it again. Carding, washing, carding seems to work. Hope I have not over processed the fleece.

How does the fleece get so dirty? Like what do alpacas do with their time? Have dust baths? Plus I've been picking out lots of bits of bush moss from it.

One aim of all this activity is to get this - the materials for my thrummed mittens:
all ready to thrum

I have no idea how much yarn I need but I don't have the recommended yarn and in pawing through my stash decided that I'll have to use the royal blue Cleckheaton. I think I'll only use the white alpaca fleece with it at this stage - the pink is just too girly. Though I have used wool the same colour in a top for me, but that is a not quite finished object.

So I've cast on the two mittens (two sets of DPNS - hooray for me!). This way I hope to not suffer the problem of only getting one mitten done, sorta like the one sock syndrome. I can do the cuffs on the train.

Here's something that blew me away when I did it:
curved armpit cast off
This is the little top I've been working on whilst crossing the Nullarbor. it is based on the White Lies Designs Shapely Tank. Today I put some short rows into the bust. Then two rows later I cast off and voila - I have a diagonal cast off! It isn't straight! That blew me away. It is so obvious that it wouldn't be straight but I never thought about it not being straight, unlike every other cast off I've ever done. It excited me so much that I had to get pictures of it as soon as all the old pics were deleted. OK, so I am easily amused. In the scheme of things, this should mean that there will be a bit more ease in the armpit area, not that I am full busted but I do sometimes get that horrible gap. Do you like the slightly chewed beehive needle, by the way? It may have been a cat that chewed it but it could have easily have been me - I used to have the habit of nibbling on things when thinking or nervous. When I cast on for the top, I was less than amused to discover that I had only brought one 4mm bamboo needle with me and one plastic 4mm needle. Their mates were 1500km away in Melbourne. Sigh. Still the odd couple seem to have worked well enough. Tomorrow, if I am lucky, I will seam up the tank and do the edging for it - I was going to make it a tee top but I am too lazy to figure out how to do the stripes.

Finally, here's a picture of sunset from a couple of days ago:
fires in the sky over Melbourne 8th October

Well that's yer bloomin lot for the day, as Peter Cundall would say. Anon!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Non-angelina and a confession or two

Hello to my handful of readers! Someone must be checking up on me cos according to my site meter I've had about 20 hits per week - not bad for a beginner who has no links from any other pages!

I picked up a book today at my LYS and it is full of patterns for Zhivago, Zest and the Yarn of Satan (as a trim only - its best use!). It has some nice little tops in it - book 1230, "Resort Knits."

If you have been eyeing off Angelina (or have made it!! you know who you are!) then you should weep cos Patons have got a couple of jackets that I humbly believe are inspired by Angelina in this book. (I admit that was one reason why I bought it, please don't hit me!) See what I mean? Resort Knits

I further admit that I went and bought a number of balls of Flutter (ie Lincraft's version of the Yarn of Satan) and Lincraft's copy of temptation and funky fur (aka Funky Fiber) today cos they are cheap and will knit up into fab scarves for friends and possibly other people too. Each scarf will only cost $7. I could get a bit more and make hats too! Ah I love me a little synthetic on occasion. (Did anyone notice that I had a yarn of Satan scarf on as part of my wedding outfit? No? You'd better have another look at the top photo of this link!

I think buying the Evil Yarn is something to do with only having bought the alpaca fleece in the last three weeks. Since I am not Catholic, someone else will have to do penance for me instead ;-)

Now I am wondering if the Dimmeys yarn will be any good for the Paton's non-Angelina cheap can I get?

Since I haven't posted any pics for ages and pics are the food of blogs, here are a couple. Firstly a shot of the alpaca fleece:
soft fuzzy Alpaca fleece Doesn't it look so soft and furry and fluffy?

And next remember my Santa that a made four weeks ago?

happy smiling needle-felted Santa
Well there he is with eyes this time, crinkled up laughing eyes! I don't know that I will put a nose on him cos I can't figure it out. Instead he will have to be a gelfling santa.

Anyone got a spare $100,000? My favourite yarn shop is not really on the market but will be and it could be amusing to work for oneself rather than being a corporate slave.

To come in the next thrilling installment - processing of the alpaca fleece. Please note that I have no idea beyond getting some dog brushes to help comb out the muck... Then I can thrum-along.

Golly, I haven't even started playing with the alpaca fleece and bits of it are flying around the room! Something just came in for a crash landing between me and the computer that looked suspiciously like alpaca fleece....


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Home at last!

We've been away almost exactly 3 weeks. We have driven nearly 10,000km. OK, I have driven over 9,000 and Nathan has been a passenger for all bar about 600km. The car is choc-a-block with stuff, mostly plants. It is still choc-a-block with stuff cos I can't be stuffed unpacking it yet, though I must soon cos the first lot of plants were WATERERD IN THE CAR by someone who will remain nameless and the run off spread into SOMEONE WHO WILL REMAIN NAMELESS' $180 books that he insisted on getting (very good books too) and undoubetedly cos they wer not right next to the plants, everything else as well.

As for knitting, what is that? I've gotten the back of a tank done, redone the two mittens to the point where I need to do the thumbs, finished a hat.... umm not much else cos it is really hard to knit when you are driving. Very easy when you are a passenger.

I didn't even bring home any yarn, though I do have a pile of alpaca fleece. i even stopped at the Yarn Barn in Adelaide on the way through and they had much nifty stuff but I didn't need any of it. I must be ill! Get out the thermometer!

Anyway, better go get things organised a bit. We'll get some pics online (some? a few? HAH! This is us, mad enthusiasts with cameras - maybe we should have the summary pages and then have the pages for enthusiasts) soon enough along with the web pages.