Saturday, April 30, 2005

A spot of bad news

Just a quick note. After a long decline my father (Jack) died this morning. He was 87. It was not unexpected and he has not been at all well this week.

I'm currently feeling a bit odd.

We'll return to our normal programming soon enough.


Friday, April 29, 2005

Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

G'day all!

TWO posts in ONE day! You so lucky!

So we went, we saw, we were amused.

If you are a Hitch Hikers fan and cannot deal with the idea of one teensy little iota of the book being changed, don't bother seeing it.

If you like the irreverent style of Douglas Adams' books, then go along and watch. Enjoy the show stopper scene "So long and thanks for all the fish." Watch out for the cameos (I am old enough to sorta remember the TV series as well as I remember anything from then) and references to other genre media. It is not faithful to the book but it is in the same sort of style. Somewhat pythonesque really, particularly with the Guide interludes.

And ladies (and gents) there is KNITTING in it! Noone knits, but before normality resumes after one of the Heart of Gold's improbability jumps everyone is knitted! LOL! In the credits, all the people involved in creating the knitting are guys, only I was distracted at the time and can't remember the names (?trevor cooper was in charge of that workshop???).

I think it was worth the $10.50 each we paid using a friends super saver tickets (normally $14.50). So if you are a huge pedantic fan boy, don't bother, but if you are willing to enjoy the ride just sit down and let it happen! Or wait for the DVD.

G'day all!

Here's the bad news:
A famine of photos continues.

Here's the good news:
I have lots of photos to put up once I can download them and GIMP them. Plus I have some thoughts to share with you. I am even getting some knitting done!

Today's highlights:

a) the Yarnharlot's bookbookbook is rooolly good. You NEED a copy. NOW!!! Even if you don't knit. Nathan thought it is funny too. He doesn't knit. What better recommendation can I make. Oh, yeah, if you can buy it in your local bookstore. I can't. I live in Australia and if I can be politically incorrect, the booksellers here are totally retarded when it comes to getting in new releases except for Harry Potter.

b) I found an M&M or a Smartie piece on my desk this morning. It was in the middle of my pile of colourful pens. That was weird cos I can't eat chocolate and I really really DETEST Smarties and plain M&Ms so even if I could eat chocolate I wouldn't leave little bits of candy-coated chocolate on my desk. For those who need to know, the outside candy layer was red, a deep rich pinky red like the colour that comes out of those poor little bugs whose names I've just remembered - cochineal beetles. Or beets.

c) Gobsmacked. Lookie here - travel warning for CANADA???

d) There is no d point. I don't know why I have a d point.

Tip for the day

Ensure that your underwear/skirt synergy is positive. I wore the wrong combination on Thursday. Skirt's dropped waist band and undies' elastic were at the same level. Things got a bit dodgy as I trotted (yes I RAN a little way!) down the footpath to make sure I got the lights. I had some definately sinking feelings. I was starting to think I might have to do that most gauche of manoeuvers - the dreaded UNDY HITCH! It's even worse than the pants hitch that avoids the dreaded MUFFIN TOP.

(From The Age,
here are a few fashion tips: if you're a girl and you want to look like every other girl on the streets of St Kilda or Fitzroy, buy yourself a pair of hipster jeans that are two sizes too small for you. Make sure they cut into your fat, and your flabby belly hangs in front. I believe it's commonly called the muffin top look.)

Today's confession.

Our office is one block from the railway line that runs around the edge of Melbourne. I heard a freight train, well more *felt* a freight train go past. I had to get up and go and look to
make sure it was a freight train, and a steel train at that. It was.

I am sooooo geeky. I watch trains. I like the big diesels with their huuuge V20 engines (Nathan tells me these things cos his old man is a real freaky train geek). I like the way they throb and send infrasonics through the whole area, including me. I like the idea of hopping on a train and
being whisked away to Someplace Else. (I could sit and knit and spin instead of having to pay attention to the road. That is Good. Not so good is that I can't just turn around and go back to that interesting patch of wildflowers or thing I saw by the side of the road or roadkill or whatever).

Confession #2

If I move one of my work shoes in a certain way, it makes a farting sound on the other shoe. This is amusing me. I am easily amused, especially since these vinces do not create bad smells. This is even more amusing than the cover of a glossy magazine making squeaking sounds on my handbag and sending the cats into orbit because they cannot find the mouse!

OK, off to see Hitchhikers...


Thursday, April 28, 2005


My Amazon order arrived!

(mental note to self - make sure one has typed book book book, not bookboobkoob)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Odd bods

G'day all!

Well today I have a few photos to show you. It is always a famine or a feast with me - I don't know what moderation is it seems. Hokelly dokelly, where to begin?

Hmm, let's start with a side branch. Unmoving desks is wearisome, especially when you find the wire manilla folder racks in the bottom of the last box you unpack, after unpacking all the folders and stuff that usually live in the racks. Then you discover that your new desk is sorta limited in space to put said racks so you have to put them on the bookshelf instead. In the meantime, your desk looks like a bombshell hit it (not much different to normal my workmates would say but normally I have organised chaos on my desk if that makes sense. I can always find stuff). One of my team mates unpacked in TWENTY MINUTES! Like she doesn't have half the crud I have that I have to drag around with me - modules in development, modules being reviewed, research for upcoming modules.... So much for the paperless office! Oh and I do admit I have quite a number of small stuffed toys and a collection of postcards and funny pictures but I have only put up three of pics and half a dozen soft toys so far.

My desk and my garden are rather similar really. I live in constant mess. Once in a while I go nuts and tidy madly, but slowly chaos creeps back in and suddenly I have a mountain of newspapers and interesting bits and pieces that I have to find places for or turf. I am starting to turf stuff, me, the eternal magpie! It runs in the family. Both my parents were magpies. When the old man moved into a retirement home, we cleaned out Home. We found things like a tin biscuit box full of receipts from a family holiday to Sydney from before I was BORN! Souvenirs from the Queen's first visit to Oz. Souvenirs from the 1956 Olympic Games. Newspaper cuttings. An old wallet of my father's, with a letter rejecting his application for Air Force service in WWII ( he was in a protected industry). All sorts of things. I just can't help myself. Nathan is a magpie too. We have filled up the garage and 3/4 of the house with Stuff (tm).

So, let's show a little something I spun up from the Bush Blush I bought at the craft fair a month or so ago. I was so enthused with this one I forgot to take pics of it on the bobbin!

bush blush skein

Then there are pics of the purple/blue/magenta spun up:

singles of more jeweltone yarn

jeweltone skein

And the multi-greens in both cake and spun forms:

a cake of greeeeeen tops

all spun and skeined up

And some green that I tried to blend with some turquoise from a peacock blend but it came out a bit lumpy due to some drafting issues (the green was a bit fuzzy - I think it had been a bit loved and had lots of neppy bits). Plus the camera really has issues with the colours. Digital cameras have much problemo with turquoise - it just doesn't make their little CCDs light up the way it does for humans.

fluffy turquoise and green yarn

I have Plans for the greens and green/blue that I have spun. More on that later.

Oh, btw I have spun these up over the last week or so - didn't do all of them last night and tonight!

Now you can see that progress is being made slowly on the front or back of the pink top (probably the front). I have finished the first ball of yarn (Zhivago). That has temporarily ceased progress.

pink lace top is progressing

I should show the first sleeve of the jacket too, and the scarf I am making based on one that Knitorious showed off last year. (I'll find a link when I finish and blog the scarf). First I need to get pics and I need to do them in daylight cos the flash picks out the white bits.

Today's weird occurrence. Parking my car next to a car like my little brother's in law. He has an import from Japan, a car that was never imported to Australia commercially. It is a Skyline AWD with twin turbos. It goes very very fast and jumps from a standing start to 80kmh (50mph) in not very long at all. The downside is that it drinks the juice like a car possessed if you drive it hard. And he drives it. The weird thing about parking next to a similar car is that I have only noticed two or three of those cars in Melbourne, and I notice cars. I am not a very good girl in that way. I can usually tell who has come to visit by the engine note of their car and can recognise cars like some girls can pick a Gucci bag or shoes from 50 paces.

I guess I have different interests.

We haven't had much pussy action for a while so looky here. Two cats on the bed AT THE SAME TIME! Even better, both of them on their backs, paws in the air!

Cheshire and Nutmeg share the bed


Monday, April 25, 2005

A pause for ANZAC Day

G'day all!

Well one of the most sacred days in Australia (and NZ) is almost done for another year. Today is the 90th anniversary of a battle that is very close to Oz hearts. BTW, ANZAC - Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.

I watched a bit of a documentary on the landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula, and the events leading up to it, on the telly last night. After 45 minutes, I was done. Nathan watched a later bit for 10 minutes and couldn't bear it. Mistake after mistake was made. Totally horrendous. Good men on both sides died because Churchill commandeered the British built Turkish battleships and didn't even give the Turks their money back. Which side would you go with - the ones that GIVE you two battleships or the ones that steal your money and the ships built for you?

And out of the actions at one small cove, a legend that birthed a nation was born. Maybe two nations - I don't know how the Kiwis feel about Anzac Day except that they do commemorate it. They lost men there too.

My Pop was there. He went to the Somme too. So I may be a bit flippant about it, but I have closer links than most people of my age. As far as I know he went for the adventure - how else could a young man of limited means get to travel to Cairo and various parts of Europe and visit England?

He certainly found adventure and somehow managed to survive it. He was a machine gunner and eagerly enthuses in a letter about the number of rounds per minute the gattling guns could fire. He was severely wounded more than once in the war. I have no idea what he was like before the war but I'd describe him as a bit eccentric. Then again my family tends to be a bit whack... yours truly included....

Recent acquisitions

The handweavers and spinners' guild had a recent coloured sheep fleece sale. A few coloured sheep fleece dealers hawked their wares, in a very quiet and genteel sort of way.

There was a gorgeous merino multicoloured (white to dark grey) fleece that I adored but it was about 2.5kg and I have absolutely no hope of processing that much fleece. Heck, I haven't even carded all the white alpaca fleece (bought in September), let alone the one I bought in January. I am starting to think I may send my alpaca fleece off to a processor and get them to card it all for me so I just have to spin it.

Yeah, that sounds good :-)

Instead, I bought some scoured and commercially prepped fleece. I think the scouring may have been quite harsh cos the carded fleece isn't very soft. Still it is a good way for me to play with different sorts of fleece for a not very big investment.

What did I get?

Some brown corriedale. This is the weirdest fleece I've yet handled. Except maybe border leicester, if that is the curly mohair like fleece. Some bits of this feel soft and others like wire:

Plus a bit of a greyish Polwarth (I can't wait to get my cotton picking, well wool pickin, hands on some of Wendy Dennis's stuff):

And some Romney:

Finally a bit of moorit merino/alpaca blend, cos I am silly - it is not as if I don't have merino tops or alpaca fleece lobbing around here....

These were all from Andyle, who do a lovely mulberry silk and merino mix yarn, like truly lush. Sooo soft I had to buy some last year, still haven't done anything with it but one day my pretties...

Then there were the blended tops in colours that I bought so I could play with blending from one colour to another. Some red blend to mix in with the red/blue (and white but we Demons supporters ignore the white bits):

And some pink to run into the blue. This is likely to be very very girly if it spins up like I hope:

Haven't done a quiz for a while. No great surprises here:

Which flock do you follow?

this quiz was made by alanna

Golly, I am a geek sheep. Quelle surprise!

You may or may not be pleased to know that I have reached the stocking stitch part of the front (or back) of the pink top. No pics today cos I forgot to take them in daylight. It is looking good, I think.

Plus I have tried three different patterns/designs for the MiL mother's day scarf. Feather and fan, one out of the page a day knitty calendar but they just looked WRONG. Finally I am just going to do cable strips and join them will little pom poms or something. It is going to be something you will see me do a bit cos I am in lerv with cables at present. I am planning a scarf in greens to turquoise in this cable idea.

Enough for tonight! Thanks for dropping by and,


Saturday, April 23, 2005


G'day all!

Do you ever find one of those patterns that you think is great but for some reason that you don't quite understand, you can't get it right?

I cast on for the lace top again. I've already cast on once and gotten 5 rows into the pattern when I realised that the top was never going to fit me like I expected it to (ie sorta neat fitting around the hips).

I thought if I cut a couple of repeats out of the pattern (went down a size) and used smaller needles (tighten up the guage) that it would be fine.

Umm, err, nope! It is even BIGGER this time! How is that possible? It goes one and a half times around my hips!

So am I the retard or is the pattern? And what should I do? Go to a 3.25mm or give up on the idea of doing it on a circular needle - it should be done on straights.

I bought a great suit today. The jacket originally cost $320 and the skirt $90. I got the set for $80. Golly I love me a bargain! Technically a summerish suit cos it is white based with pink/watermelon but as soon as I put the jacket on, I had to have it. We found a co-ordinating skirt that fit well - the first one wasn't so great but the second was almost perfect. I would do a pic but that involves doing the rest of me too and this is slob day. Oh, hang on, every day is slob day but today is slobbier than normal day. I put a green skirt in the same style and a strapless black dress on layby.

Plus I showed my lurid hat to (argh, mental blank) at AK2 and she thought it fab. She is making an interesting half felted half woven scarf - I'd love to do that sort of stuff too. Pat at Marta's thought the hat was pretty good too :-)


Man, I am a total reee-tard. I forgot to post this! I gave up on the circs (Jill warned me but I would persist with my ideas of circularity) and started again on the front or back only on straights in the smallest size after realising that my gauge and their gauge were totally different on the lace. My gauge on the lace meant that each repeat would be about, wait for it, 1.5 times the length the pattern designer thought it should be! That might be why the thing was soooo blasted big!

So I am on the straight(s) and narrow now. I am worried after completing two repeats that it will be just too narrow for me. Nyeh. I'll do the back/front on 4mm instead of 3.5s. Yes it will probably give it a bit more ease and maybe look a teensy bit odd but I don't think so. My gauge on the 3.5s is only slightly smaller than on the 4mm....

ANZAC Day tomorrow. Yay. A day off. I should fix up all the pics I've been hoarding from you, the yarn I've spun, the yarn that is dyeing in the pot as we speak.... (That will be fun to unwind cos I've dyed it so that I have long repeats of colour and it has gotten a bit tangled along the way. Ooops).


Friday, April 22, 2005

The most boring blog post ever

G'day all!

Today got very very boring. Work was tedious. It isn't usually this tedious. This is a summary of my day at work. Read on, if you dare!

I am sure that time has slowed down a whole lot today.

We are moving desks over this weekend. On Tuesday I have to remember something that I have already forgotten. Ah yes, I have to go to the other end of the floor. That is like a whole 20m away. Dunno how I will cope.

I have been packing stuff for three hours. Dunno how I have that much stuff, but having to pack the rest of the boss' stuff and Marnie's stuff helps a bit. Plus making up labels to whack on everything. Yes, I am making labels for our stuff cos we get six official labels. Six labels
to put on our phone, our computer box, mouse, keyboard, monitor, chair, drawers (I have two sets of drawers - I so lucky!), rubbish bin, recycle bin and allocated three boxes (read at least 4 boxes). Now if something doesn't add up, let me know. My reckoning is that for my computer,
chair and phone alone I need six labels. That eats up my allocated lot. Stuff the bins and the 5 boxes and the drawers. Even without all my crud that I insist on having, like pics and toys and bits n bobs, I still have four boxes of crud that must be kept.

I started typing this 10 minutes ago. As I said, time is c r a w l i n g along at a snail's pace. Maybe it is because I can't wait to get out of work today, go and get a needle stuck in my arm then go home and enjoy a long weekend. Thank you ANZACs for sacrificing yourselves so that your
descendants can have a day off work! Plus me and K want to send a (R)AOK to someone who is having a tough time at present but it is hard to send something to someone when you only have their email so I am busting a gutto email for a snail addy. Can't do it from here cos I won't be about
for three days. Must get home! Only 5 hours 30 to go. Argh.

A bit of work on some systems modules, can't progress until I get feedback from people who know what training is required. I only design and run training for them. I don't need to know what they need in training. HA! That is how it seems to work quite often. I can't work in a vacuum, people! Feedback can't come back until Tuesday cos the people in the know are in a planning day today.

Hooray! Lunch time! I can be released for half an hour. Only half an hour cos if I go longer I have to stay later and I don' wanna stay later. Only 3:15 hours to go at work today.

Boo hiss. Back from lunch and I still am underinspired. Time to nuke a few vegies. 2:45 hours

My phone stinks. I cleaned it with some desk wipe stuff. It smells yucky, almost as bad as if someone had been smoking and then used it. 2:40 hours

Daydreamed a bit, discovered that if my job was made redundant I should get at least 29, maybe even 35 weeks pay. Dreamed a bit longer. Dream on! 2:35 hours.

Found some filing cabinets that probably need to be moved with us cos they seem to have stuff from the previous boss and the current boss in them. Boss is not available to talk to about filing cabinets.

Just discovered a secret stash of red labels on a nearby PA's desk. Hooray! Real sticky labels, not ones that need to be stuck on with crap quality sticky tape! 2:15 hours

You know you are having a very very very slow day when you get excited about finding a secret stash of red labels....

Excitement has worn off.

Just shoved 6 pairs of shoes into the back of my drawers. Found another pair of shoes in there. I am a right imelda marcos at work but at home I have my runners and my sandles. Not even fashionable sandles, just plain sensible brown things. I am a geeky girl, remember. Oh, I have at least two pairs of "good" shoes at home. One pair are ruby red heels. Every girl, even geek girls, needs a pair of ruby red shoes. Two more pairs of shoes at work to find a home for.

Another box is looking good for all the crud on my desk, a bag of wool that I found under it and the shoes. Noone would ever guess that like knitting. 2:00 hours to go!

Hmm, looks like the updates they are doing on our system are being naughty. Symantec antivirus failed to load. That sounds bad. Ah well, not my problem - that is IS's problem. I love it when it is not my problem. They have locked every admin function away from us - we can't even defrag
our own disk or tell the system to always load certain files using whatever program. My favourite is that we can't read windows metafiles, and they are used for clipart. LOL. 1:30 hours

Taped my drawers shut. Discovered various items that belong in the drawers. If I put them into a cavernous box, will I ever see them again? 1:20 hours to go.

Arranged a place for my plant that I inherited from Gibbering to sit for the weekend. 1:10 hours to go.

Started taking down the last pictures stuck around my desk. Discovered more pins-wot-should-be-in-the-taped-up-drawers. Realised I have a lot of crud. Lots of pictures. About 20 soft toys. Things to amuse me when times are tough.

Toot break. Three minutes getting the serrations in the 2 ply dunny paperto match up again. Have I mentioned that I am a real pedant on occasion and these things annoy me? Worse, I had to go into Word and check if serrations has one R or two? Can't have misspelled stuff. Or should
that be mispelled? Or mispelt? Argh. Brain fry. 1:00 hours.

Time for a farewell for a claims assessor. Hmm, only five minutes wasted.

Final pack up of desk proceeds. Pictures, pens, other stationery items like six different coloured stickies pads, CDs ("The Best Singles of All Time, some of which are actually good tracks but easily 50% are dross). Clean stuff that has remains of vegies in it. Very tired of having
microwaved vegies for lunch but we are not getting any left overs. Wow, not packed yet and only 0:30 to go!

0:20 to go. Getting hungry. Again. Time to clean out mug that held the now dead water bamboo (oops - that is what happens when you go away for 10 days and forget to fill its container up with water!). Then clean the desk.

0:10 to go. Desk cleaned. Feeling odd due to fumes from desk cleaning fluids. Yuck.

0:07 to go. Last toot stop for the day at work. Then signout.


and hoo roo to you too!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A case of the blahs and a meeting with a stranger

G'day all!

Very boring time at present. I have lots of things to do and make and you know what? I have a case of the blahs. So does Nathan. Nothing interesting to read on the net. No emails to answer. Generally nothing to report. Can't even work on Nathan's sock co I have mislaid both balls of yarn and have run out of the first ball. Started on a new sock for me. Have to do more of the sleeve for the jacket and knit up the lace top, spin several kilos of fleece, etc etc. Amazon order shipped after 10 days. Forgot to pay an invoice from an ebayer. You know the drill.

Training went well enough today - better than I expected. I hope the feedback is ok cos getting bad feedback is horrible. It really makes me re-evaluate whether I want to be in such a role. I feel like such a cretin, especially when I think I've created something Good.

The blahs will pass when the day length settles down and I work out a way to balance job with life. We are losing 10 minutes every few days at present and I really notice it. Of course in the meantime, I guess I will blog and see if we can ever crawl to the eleventy-oneth comment - still haven't gotten there yet!

Yesterday I asked what you would pay for handspun yarn. No replies so far. My email addy is spam protected on the side bar of my blog if you don't want to leave a comment cos you are worried you will get spam (happened to me - jeez I was annoyed cos I never ever got spam until I foolishly left my email addy on a blog. Spam protect your email addy on any blog comments!).

news flash

I'm getting better!

Nathan snapped at me for no reason earlier, apart from I interrupted his Dr Who viewing, which he had interrupted himself anyway by forgetting about it until 10 past six. I couldn't get the plug out of the kitchen sink cos I was carrying a head of broccoli, one of cauli, 2 carrots, the chopping board and a knife, oh yeah plus a pot and a lid. The sink was overfull and to get the plug out would mean getting my precious B5 watch in the dishwater.... So he snapped at me and I snivelled all the way through getting the vegies ready. I've felt much better since then.

I spun up some of the carded fleece I bought on Saturday into singles and the navajo plied it. (Someone on the spindlers list said they never tried navajo plying cos they thought you needed a navajo spindle, a big heavy supported one, to do that sort of plying. Never occurred to me that I couldn't navajo ply, especially after seeing how simple it is. Same for andean bracelets, except they cut the circulation off in my middle finger.) The Corriedale felt like fine steel wool through my fingers, though some bits felt much softer than others. in plying, despite the fact I thought it was overspun, it was the easiest to pull apart. The Romney felt a bit softer and pliwd more easily, though a few fluffy bits snagged kinks in the single. The Polwarth was rather nice, maybe even nicer than the merino/alpaca mix. Corriedale is supposed to be the best for new spinners but I found it a bit difficult to deal with, being rather coarse. I am used to spinning merino and merino blends, including silk. Call me a spinning snob. Next I must spin up the colonial tops and blue face leicester that kind stranger sent me but I am waiting for the Twisted Sister Sock book to lob in on the front verandah first.

Oh heck, Mother's Day thing. Only two and a bit weeks to make it. Hell's bells, what will I make? Simple lace in mostly pink yarn with bluish bits and white silky blobs. Suggestions?

I am now, when not blogging, knitting more of the sleeve of my jacket.

Still can't find Nathan's sock yarn. Quite aggravating.

Today's weird thing wot happened to me.

I wore my little poncho thing to work. I figured it would cover up the sweat marks on my top as I trained (as I may have mentioned, I was a bit nervous about this training session after being butchered in the last ones). It did the job admirably. As I took my lunchtime walk, some stupid man walked down some steps, looked my way, turned the other way, then whilst looking in the other direction walked straight at me! I managed to avoid him but my ponchoette caught on his jacket buttons. Suddenly I was dragged sideways shrieking GODSAKES! as my poncho took off in a different direction to the one I would've preferred, dragging me by the neck and half strangling me. Horrible ripping noises happening, not sure if I wanted them to be me or the poncho to be honest (I've had enough of damaging myself recently). Face to face with a strange Pom who's asking me if I am ok as I frantically disentangle myself whilst trying not to curse him with a tongue he's never heard before.*

My poor ponchoette is mostly ok. It needs some threads pulled back into place and the neckstring replaced. But what will fix my poor frazzled nerves?

(*how I wanted to be able to tell him he isa f...tard, like Gibbering's favourite word at present but I don't say those sorts of words, even if they are WAAAAAAY cool)

Cheshire and Nutmeg are on the bed at the same time. Nutmeg is giving off really grumpy vibes and her look is totally sour.... LOL!


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

To sell or not to sell

that is the question!

Katt asked me a big question the other day.

Would I consider selling my handspun yarn?

Well yes I would, but the real question is, does anyone have enough money to buy it???

Most of the tops I have been buying cost a princely amount - $12 for 50g. I've occasionally got some for less, but even then $10 is a fair hoik, considering I can buy plain undyed tops for about $3 for 50g. I could dye the tops myself, but that is another night doing that (it is very fun though :-) and I'd have to buy a few more colours that I don't have yet cos I don't think using half a bottle of food dye every time I do some dyeing is economical.

Oh, and I do work full time.

Of course I have happy little daydreams where I spend my time dyeing fleece and spinning some, selling some and making a living out of it. Unlikely, well not when we don't own our own home outright, etc. We don't even own any property.

I have happy dreams of making little kits up of handspun with some home made wooden needles and a pattern for a scarf or hat and selling them for say $25 at markets.

The Feral Knitter has been having a few thoughts along the same lines as me. She wonders why she holds back a bit and does not fling herself headlong into the fibre world. I know why I don't. $$$. Cold hard cash. Nathan earns half of what I do and my income is what we live on. His income provides a bit of play money.

So there you have it. I would love to sell stuff but how much would you be willing to pay for hand-dyed, hand-spun yarn?

Trip - it's been a while

I haven't finished putting up the pics from the trip yet. I found I missed some on Nathan's camera.

The Monaro Plains. The REALLY boring bit. Like where are the trees? These plains are naturally treeless! The soil and the rainfall are so poor and it gets so cold in winter (not by North American standards - only -10C) that trees can't flourish. The treeless parts are on basalt whilst the treed areas are on granite. I think.
boring plains - a little hilly

Driving down Brown Mountain. The escarpment leading up onto the plains slurps up all the moisture from the east/seaboard. The lookout we stopped at is effectively in rainforest. Very very lush and green, a total contrast to the plains above.
rainforest under schlerophyll forest

Now we are back on track. Tathra. Almost sunny Taaa-thra - we gave up a week of 28 degree temps in Melbourne to enjoy 20 degree temps along the coast. Sigh.

Taaa-thra. No, we are past Taaa-thra but I didn't talk much about it. Forgot to take any pics as well.

Nathan had a good sleep in - dunno how he managed it considering the building site across the road was on the go by 7am with a little digger unloaded and various pneumatic tools in use. I was up and out on the beach before 7am. Plus I figured out why there was an unpleasant smell
around on our walk the night before - our cabin was about 5 metres from a sewerage pump and about 6 metres from the end of a creek/drain that was blocked off by the beach and currently not open to the sea. There were plenty of people and dogs on the beach - obviously a lot of people take the dog for a walk/run or just like getting out there before being trapped inside at work for the day. Don't blame 'em either - I'd love to be able to go for a walk in a nice place before work. Instead I walk along the Yarra from Flinders St station and admire the amazing 1970s psychedelic blobs a certain old railway bridge makes when it is reflected in the water.

Tathra is a nice little town. Most of it is up on the rocky headland, but we stayed on the beach on the north side. I had to confirm that the boat ramp on the south side of the point really has a rather narrow egress between large rocks. I was there five years ago and was amazed (scroll down a bit to the shot about half way down). Yep, it does.
small craft danger area
The swell wasn't running high the day we were there and the way out through the rocks didn't look as scary, maybe even possibly navigable! As long as you know what you are doing.

Anyway, I had Ideas about where I wanted to go. After a stop at Kangarutha (almost native) plant nursery, we travelled back through Bega and north to Central Tilba. You've seen what I got there. Not that I wanted to go to an alpaca shop. Me? Never! Plus Central Tilba has a cheese factory that produces,oddly enough, Tilba cheese. That pleased the boy. So did hte cafe he ate at. It had a nice view out the window - rather bucolic.
greenness from the cafe

The countryside north of Bega is rolling hills clad in green green grass. Apparently it can get a bit nippy in winter - frosts are very common but the days are pleasant and sunny and around 18-19 degrees. Lots of Melburnians move to the area cos they like the weather and the laid
back country style and the greenness. Pity it is in New South Wales and they are the mortal enemies of Victorians (no matter what South Australians think).

Everywhere in Australia hates all the rest of Australia. Each state considers itself the best. Queenslanders hate the "mexicans" - all the people south of the border. New South hates the banana benders, as does Victoria. After all why does Queensland get these great natural
resources and then fill itself up with idiots (as this indicates).

The South Australians hate the Victorians, but Victoria couldn't give a stuff cos it is like Australia vs New Zealand. New Zealand is like the annoying little brother of Australia - much smaller and a bit yappy. (Take a few Kiwis and Aussies overseas and see what happens though. They'll fight like cat and dog over sport and pretty much get along with everything else, including hating Fosters beer cos we are really quite similar.) Same with Victoria and SA.
Victoria can flog the croweaters in most things and the few things SA wins we Victorians see as concessions to make them feel a bit better. (That will piss off a few croweaters!)

The sandgropers in WA and the people in the Northern Territory are so far away that we tend to forget they exist. Same with poor old Tasmania. Tassie is only an hour's flight away and is a lovely place to visit. I'd go back in an instant, particularly since I have to run training tomorrow and it is not going to be a good session.

The capitals of Victoria and New South, Melbourne and Sydney respectively, vie for position as the most important city in Australia. Sydney has lots of icons of Australia and we have the Yarra, the river that flows upside down (the river that I adore) but I am a Melburnian so of course Melbourne is better.

Oh, I've forgotten the capital of Australia, Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. Hmm, guess that tells you my opinion. Everyone ignores Canberra as much as possible, even the pollies who sit in parliament there.

So Central Tilba was luverly. We bought two photo prints of rocks with lichen from and I bought some bits and bobs from the house of colour which DOESN'T burn incense unlike nearly every other place like it - HALLELUJA, brother! I can BREATHE! but it was time to head back southish cos we had to start moving towards home. Nathan had to put his nose to the grindstone:
just what I like to see

and we said farewell to Mt Dromedary:
pictureskew Mt Dromedary

and headed south, towards Merimbula.

Hmm, charmed. As I sit here fixing some pics up for the blog, the cat has sat on my lap in ecstasy cos I am humming notes that drive her wild and has started washing her anus. Time for the cat to wash herself someplace else, in both senses of the phrase!


Sunday, April 17, 2005

HOTT hat

G'day all!

Well things have returned to normal here at Weedhaven. Nathan pulled the plug on the correct disk, first go! No nasty vir-chunk noises! Gee I like having my own sysadmin!

Now since we have computer, you know what that means!


The HOTT hat!

HOTT hat made of my own handspun yarn

Here's the graft on the cable edging. I am sure you can appreciate the wondrous colour match I made:
HOTT hat cable brim join totally unmatched

And this is the hat on my head. My head appears very lumpy. I think it must be all the brains trying to get out:
HOTT hat made of my own handspun yarn on not so hot head

I am very pleased with the hat. I am very pleased with the yarn. I knew it would knit up in stripes, i just didn't know exactly what it would look like. Some of the stripes are longer than others, which I expected from the way I drafted the yarn. Some are shorter. They are all LURID! Yay!

Here's what the sky looked like at 11am or so this morning:

Rosa General Gallieni making a bold dash for the sky
General Gallieni is making a bold dash for the sky. This bloom is quite old so it is very red. Younger blooms have creamy pink in the centre, and so do blooms in cloudy weather. He gets redder as he gets more sun. Just like me, actually! 8-)


Friday, April 15, 2005

Ding dong the disk is dead

Which old disk? The wicked disk!

Which old disk is the problem. At this very moment I am using Nathan's cobbled together PC. I usually use my FiL's old G3 mac, lovingly named skrewt (as in blast-ended) mainly cos you never know when a computer is going to umm blast. However, one of the two disks in that machine is pretty much dead, only we can't figure out which one without opening up the G3 box and physically unplugging one or the other and seeing if the machine boots or not. Last night as Nathan made sure the disks were synched on my machine we had a catastrophic crash. Anyway, it means no pics for the time being cos they are all on my machine. Hopefully I will have pics later, when skrewt is happy again.

I bad girl. I bought some more tops at the spinners' guild this morning. Spank me. I am going to see if I can spin them in such a way as they blend from one colour to the next over 2-3m. Not at all like the Noro stuff I've played with recently. No, mine will have three plies and not have silk. I also got some not very coloured fleece from the once a year coloured fleece sellers so I can try polwarth, corriedale and romney, see how they spin up.

Thanks for your comments on the "swatch" btw. Looks like it is a goer! And you'll be able to see my lovely new hat once the old G3 is up and running again cos I only have to seam it today. It is lurid. :-)

Ah well, off out again so we can get some cable for the tv antenna to plug it into the computer. (You know what that means!) I'll be driving my little bird killer, who has four new tyres - he feels like a little rollerskate sliding along the road.

I think I might give the person who makes the eleventy-first comment on my blog, like the eleventy-first comment in the whole 7 or 8 months I've been blogging a little prize. A little pot luck thing. I passed a hundred comments the other day - heck the Harlot gets that many in a day! Dunno how she copes. Of course I am not oging back and counting allthe ocmmnets - i save them in a file in my mail, so I may have accidentally deleted one or two but the eleventy-first comment I put in that blog may well get a little handspun yarn or a little baggy.

If I don't respond to any emails over the next day, don't be surprised - I have to steal time on this machine.


Thursday, April 14, 2005


G'day all!

I am in lerv. I am knitting a hat, yes another hat, I seem to have a hat fetish at the moment. This is different. It is a very special hat.

It is a hat made out of my own home spun. I grabbed a skein of the red/orange/purple yarn and ballsed oops balled it up and cast on for another hat.

I don't think I've ever seen a yarn so lurid, except maybe for the stuff I showed you yesterday. This hurts the eye! it is FABULOUS!

Once I have made the hat I will show you it in all its glory. I shall do a happy hat dance. You will cringe and turn the brightness down on your monitor.

Tip for the day - keeping the leg elevated

OK, so earlier in the week I had to keep my right leg elevated cos of this bee sting. Great, fab, just what I want to do all day long! But what about the shower?

Well our shower is over the bath, so the obvious thing to do when your leg feels like it is about to blow off any tick of the clock is to sit down. But how to keep the leg elevated?

Don't. Don't worry about it. Why?

One does not recommend propping one's leg up on the edge of the bath. It seems that one's buttocks are unable to get a good grip on the slippery bath surface.... The grip between the butt skin and the bath can be related to say driving a car on marbles. It just doesn't work.

anyway, off to craft night. Hooray!


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Third time's a charm!

G'day all!

This will be my third go at getting this posted. Pity I didn't save it as a draft before I tried to post it! Seems like ebay and blogger both like to use the same cookie space, cos if I have ebay open in another tab, blogger stubbornnly refuses to work. Or maybe it is just coincidence...

Now what is the most important stuff? Ah yes, the SWATCH.

Do you like this swatch for the new jacket? Tell me what you think of it. Your opinion may not sway my eventual opinion but I'll take it into consideration! The girl with the best style sense in my area at work thinks it is fab.

(I admit this is the sleeve. Or maybe it is a really big swatch)

Remember, this is the jacket the swatch is for:


Now I have managed to get a few things that have been hanging around off the needles and fixed up a bit.


(OK, I admit I finished this a week ago) When i bought the yarn,I bought it cos it was "cheap" Noro - only $11.70 a ball. It is Noro Shinano. I wanted to try it. In the ball it looked ugly but as I knitted it I came to appreciate its subtle beauty. The camera has highlighted the changes in colour. Even though the yarn is pretty rough feeling, it doesn't seem to irritate my skin much. The yarn looks felted to me. And it is giving me ideas about what I should start spinning. This hat is a keeper! Oh and the pattern is an amalgam of two or three different patterns with the cable out of Knitting on the Edge, but you would find that cable in any aran pretty much.

And another hat, same style, different gauge. This hat is the teensiest bit small for me due to me overenthusiastically applying the band to the cap. Am contemplating re-doign the seam.... It is in Noro Silk Garden. Classic colour.

Then there is this silly little poncho-thing that I thought I finished ages ago but it didn't sit right so I ungrafted the "shoulders" and reseamed it to just be two joined rectangles. Much better. This was a three ply ball of mohair/silk and two threads of merino from Marta, and I sat and laboriously unwound the plies into three small balls of yarn.

I knitted up the world's easiest shawl (cast on 2-3 stitches then increase at the start of each row, knit all the way until you have enough only to cast off with - v.hard to judge that!) in some Colored Jules hand-dyed silk. I can't find a link to this yarn on her site at present. This is very pretty too I think. The colours are as close to true as I can get my monitor but are not perfect representations.

I don't think I have blogged the sleeve of the new pink top. Someone remind me - I am too lazy to check it for myself! I knitted up 8 rows, including five of the lace pattern (and two of those rows were figuring out how to knit the purl rows knitwise cos I decided to do it on circular needles) and discovered that I was knitting a top for a BIG girl. I do not qualify as a big girl so I frogged it and bought myself some 4mm bamboo circs today. Addi turbos are just too slick for me to use on most yarns and my tension is terrible....

Have I said how much I love my bamboo needles?

A bit over a year ago, I would have never thought I would be using expensive snobby bamboo needles. Plastic fantastics are my go. I can't use metal needles. They hurt my hands badly. Circular needles, including addi turbos, hurt my hands cos until recently I could only get metal handled needles. (DPNs also tend to come in metal only.) One part of the problem is I have near man-sized hands. They are wide and long and the needle-plastic join sits right on the pad of my hand. This causes my hands to cramp up after only about 15 minutes of knitting. WOE!

Plastic needles bend and flex and don't stick into me. Bamboo needles are warm and for me less grippy than plakky fantakkies. Metal needles are an invitation for the yarn to slide right off, along with all the knitting.

My first set of cheap bamboo needles were quite quite poor quality. I think I only had two needles in the set that did not snag the yarn (or me!). But they felt nice to my hands, warm and inviting. So I bought some expensive bamboo needles. Ah. Luverly.

Since then I have been a convert. By preference I use bamboo but sometimes use plastic and occasionally for knitting large things on big needles use the 7-10mm addi turbos.

As the girl in Clegs said to me last week, buy yarn and invest in needles.

Leg update

Back at work today. Blah. Spent half the day fixing up all the things that I should've done on Monday. But on Monday I could hardly walk. Today I can walk easily. Dang. Forgot the antibiotics. Back in a tick.... Ah, that is "better." Swelling is down a lot - I have tendons and veins visible in my foot now and an achilles tendon. The infected and "burnt" area is still pretty disgusting. Must get a picture when it is daylight. I am getting good mileage out of it at work. It often itches like mad so it must be healing.

heh. On the way home tonight, my left foot slipped on a bit of rubbish or a leaf at the station and now it hurts instead! We'll see how it goes overnight.

Spinning update

Jeez, this is becoming a monster post! And I can't even blog about the rest of the trip a couple of weeks ago cos I have so much to say today. Can't even say what happened on the weekend!

Here is the yarn I have spun up for my MIL for Mother's Day (second sunday in May here in Oz). See how it is two-ply? I can two ply stuff up but I do prefer Navajo plying. See the subtle heathering in it? Silk, mohair, ?alpaca, merino mix. Yum.

And here is my first thick and thin yarn (I boast but even my first spinning efforts were not very thick and thin....). This was spun from some tops I got at the Stitches and Craft fair.

Now in case you think I have gone subtle in my dotage, look at this and weep. Singles. Plied. Skein.

Okey-dokey, that's yer bloomin lot!


Monday, April 11, 2005

My new promise

I, Lynne, do hereby promise that I will do my best to leave at least one comment a month on the blogs I read, especially those blogs that don't get many comments. However if you don't have comments turned on in your blog, I can't leave you comments easily. And if you don't have comments on and an email addy that I know about, it will be even harder to leave a comment!

Why am I making this promise? Cos I know how sad it is when you blog your little heart out, put up lots of pics and get two or three comments a week. It does make each and every comment special though :-) Especially when you get a google hit from hot pussies. Yes the cats are pretty cute. LOL


G'day all!

Since when did I get old? You would think I am ancient the way I am hobbling about. I have tried antihistamines and skin salves. Had to go to the dr this morning about my poor leg. It is interesting colours, mostly reds and pinks. Dr says I have a skin infection and even a little ulcer! I so lucky! I thought that old people and people with diabetes get skin ulcers. Now I have antibiotics again. I have a pic of it for those who are brave, but I'll put it at the bottom of the post, LOL! I can show you this cos the pic doesn't reveal it very well - my right ankle is a bit swollen. I even had to loosen my already loose sandal by two notches!

puffy ankle

A very kind stranger sent me this:

Blue Faced Leicester roving

And this colonial superwash:

superwash sock roving

and a little superwash merino tops. Verra nice. Once I am technically not on bed rest with my leg on two pillows I will start playing with the fleece. Yes, I am supposed to be lying down with my leg up (not over!) and I can tell you that when the rest of you is fit and healthy, lying down all day long is quite boring!

BTW, can anyone tell me where colonial wool comes from? No, I just googled it. It is unspecified English breeds raised in South America. OK. That will be why we don't seem to have it here in Oz.

Here's some stuff I picked up from the Alpaca Shop (of course I went to the Alpaca Shop in Central Tilba). Three lots of huacaya alpaca and one of suri (the chestnutty-blond Mirabelle in the lower pic on the right) plus a flutey/recordery thing for Nathan:

new alpaca fleece

more alpaca fleece

I don't think you need to see the white yarn I bought - some merino supreme seconds, half a kilo for less than $10 (normally $6-7 a 50g ball) and some much rougher NZ stuff that I wouldn't put near my skin.

Whilst we were away, I started on my new top, only mine is in pink cos that baby poo gold colour would make me look very ill indeed:

And here is a pic of a sleeve. Note that I have added a repeat of the lace to the bottom of the sleeve:

pink sleeve for new top

Wish me luck - I am converting the body of the pattern to a knit in the round and there are over 300 stitches plus I have to read every second row backwards and swap any purls to knits and vice versa (?yarnovers? I don't think there are any in the "purl" rows). At least I have a lot of little stitch markers to use to delineate every second repeat of pattern now. I made some up whilst lying on bed.

The cats shared their new favourite chair for about 20 seconds. Nutmeg has taken over this chair as her own and will usually fight Cheshire off. Check out the way Nutmeg (on the right) is looking at Cheshire.

two cats sharing the chair

Finally, here is the picture you have been fearing.



I think it looks worse now :-)

my gross leg


Sunday, April 10, 2005

I'm still a bad blogger

G'day all!

Today started off pretty danged well. Went to the flower and garden show, wandered around in the hot sunshine (after finding the first aid mob and using some of their sunscreen) and then decided my leg hurt too much and I should come home.

(I hear any English people out there asking why use sunscreen? Because even in April, the Australian sun can sizzle you like a sausage. The Australian sun is quite harsh, unlike the gentle sun of England. Even I didn't get sunburnt in England and I just fry here. We can usually pick out Pommie backpackers who have just arrived here by the brilliance of their bright red lobster-like skin.)

I've spent most of the afternoon and evening with my foot elevated, trying to reduce the swelling. Why is my leg puffed up? Cos I react badly to arthropod stings. The puffing starts around the bottom of my ankle, covers my achilles but not my soleus muscle (except the edge of it) and goes 2/3 of the way up my calf. The bee stung area is blistered presumably from being inflamed all day. I think I might have to visit the dr before going to work tomorrow simply cos I am having difficulty walking.

Unfortunately, sitting at the computer with my leg up is nigh on impossible, so I've not picked out the good pics from yesterday yet. The only way I can put my leg up is sideways and that is a total killer for my neck and groin.

So many apologies - never expected a simple bee sting to be this exciting!


Saturday, April 09, 2005

April showers- I wish!

G'day all!

One of my friends emailed me and said it is snowing where she lives in England. Never knew April showers were not rain but snow.... However, we are still waiting for our April showers to show up. It was 32 or 33 degrees C here today. Our warmest April day for 20 years.

I've been pretty busy and very tired this week. I took piccies today of the bits and pieces we gathered, but I had a minor drama first.

I sat on the grass setting up my first picture. Suddenly I noticed a sharp pain in my leg. YOWZA! When I moved my leg I noticed some funny smelling stuff on it and it had a new hole in it. Then I noticed a bee crawling around... but a bee without its guts hanging out of it. I must've been stung cos my first response was to have a panic attack - the funny smelling gack seemed to trigger it - and then the area started welting up. Anyway, after some basic first aid (eat an antihistamine and wash the area, and wash it again and stick some deoderant on it and then a bag of frozen peas on it) I was back to taking pictures. Haven't downloaded them yet. The sting has swollen up to being quite obvious on my leg and is hot and tingly. I guess that doing lots of spinning tonight and going for an hour long walk was not a good idea.... The first aid stuff for bee stings says to elevate the area. I did use my left leg for most of the spinning, but I can't hop instead of walking for very far.

I have so many things to show you but so little time to blog in. The Noro hat, the stuff a kind stranger sent me, the new bowls and stuff we bought on our trip, my new coloured fleeces. I'll just have to show you tomorrow, after I go to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden show in the morning.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Is this the face of a killer?

G'day all!

No update on the trip cos I need to get some pics together of our tour around the south coast and in particular the goodies we (I) got at Central Tilba. BTW, if you follow the link to Central Tilba, you may or may not be able to tell where I spent some $$. Have a ping at it and tell me what you think.

This is my baby car. He is seven now, so he is not a baby any more I guess. BTw, do you like the number plate slogan "Victoria - on the move"? This is old now. We are now "the place to be." At least we were getting someplace before, now we are just being!

This is a most serious question. Does this look like the face of a killer car?

This car was the death of many many locusts (no great loss!) and at least one blowfly with maggots on board (ask me how I know!). We also helped select for magpies that get off the road quickly rather than becoming a two part magpie story (oops) (BTW, the Aussie magpie is not the same as the European one, and I hope that link works for you cos it uses flash and I can't run flash on my browser...). Car had a taste for blood after that and hoovered up a fantail (bird) that decided to try to outfly the car (I did slow down but I can't stop car on a dime). I found the sad remains of the fantail stuck under the radiator.... Then, car just could not stop himself! MUST KILL BIRDIES!

So when a grey bird led its flock across the road near Central Tilba, it was not pretty. The first bird decided to fly into the path of the car and cleared the bonnet somehow but its mates ran into the side of the car.... oh dear. Four or five sad little fluffy grey bodies bouncing behind the car.... Nathan rubbed that one in a lot, but like what was I to do? They flew out as the car was going past them. Like DUH! Ah well, that will help breed a smarter version of that bird.

I am just hoping that car's lust for blood stops with smallish birds. I reckon an emu or a bustard would probably bust(ard) my car and as for a wombat or a roo....

On a totally different note, here are the next things on my knitting agenda. I have the yarn and have done two sleeves of the top (with one repeat of lace rather than just garter stitch). It took me about four nights to knit three sleeves in the pink yarn I have. No I don't have three arms.

And I am swatching for the jacket from Winter's Vogue Knitting. I have stitch gauge but row gauge is well off so I emailed Vogue Knitting. We don't have Lion brand wools here so i am yarn subbing. Unfortunately the yarn I thought I would use does not come in black - like what yarn doesn't come in BLACK for heavens sake? I may end up having to dye some cream yarn black.... I am going to knit this in creamy white, duck egg blue/green and black. Should be stunning.

Finally just cos I can,

Cheshire smiling:

And our little lush, Nutmeg, sprawled on the bed

As happy as a clam: