Thursday, May 31, 2007

yarn yarn and more yarn

(note for Tanja W - your email is bouncing and I can't contact you. Of course this might mean you can't get online too!)

G'day again all!

I have to get rid of some more yarn. I am not sure why I have all of it, just cos it is a collection and MINE! But now I am starting to wonder why? Why keep it all?

Does anyone want some yarn at low, low prices? I have various amounts of Bendigo cotton (half price), mostly 8 ply, a range of colours in mohair (not the old 1970s stuff, more modern stuff that doesn't prickle unless you are a sensitive type like me (ohhh)) and random balls of wool. Admittedly most of the yarn colours tend to be in the blues, pinks, purples, greens and pastels (ie colours that a blue-eyed blonde would tend to wear) but there are some others too (particularly black, which I despise knitting with but is great for colour work and as a background). Most of the stuff has between 1-3 balls and is good for little projects or colour work. If you mix and match the cottons there would be plenty for some kids tops. I also have a range of polar fleece type yarns, some of which again would have enough yardage for kidswear. Apart from the big skeins of bendi cotton, it is all $1 a ball. No pics cos we still are challenged with pics, between the weather (grotty, cold, wet, like winter!!! - yucko but hooray!) and the downloading options (limited).

Whatever I can't get rid of through here and non-bloggy friends, I'll probably give to a charity, probably Knitters for Melbourne's Needy. I'd prefer not to give it to the Salvos since they have to sell it - I'd prefer that it went to a place where they will use it and where it is needed to keep people warm and happy. (I admit though, having been raised by a waste-not, want-not mother and being a natural born hoarder, I find it hard to give useful stuff away).


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Almost over and AKC

G'day all!

Thank heavens that May is almost over. May is my least favourite month of the year, even less favourite than April (days shortening rapidly) and July (winter - need I say more?). May is the death month. At the start of the month is my father's deathiversary and at the end, my mother's. You can probably see why I don't like May.

Yesterday was a particularly bad day, being Mum's deathiversary and all. I always get grumpy on that day (when I was working I always tried to take that day off but last year my then boss scheduled me to run training that day and I couldn't change it). Things are always going wrong on that day (even down stupid little things like pouring a glass of juice and the juice splashing only once and that once being straight up onto my glasses or the roast chicken's oven bag bursting two seconds before I tried to pour the juices out, leading to me, the stove and the floor being covered in roast chicken juices. Not that those things happened yesterday or anything. no no not at all).

At least this May has brought some rain. The first two weeks of last year's May was very wet and we installed our new water tank the day that the rains stopped. We had half our average annual rainfall after putting the tank in. A year and two weeks later and the tanks, all 10,000 litres or so of them, are full as a goog and overflowing. We are not quite sure what to do with the water now!

Plus I had a good SnB last night, took along yarn, sold lots of it!!!! and got a little address book so that I can remember people from the Melbourne SnB :-) (Doh, forgot to write info into the book last night. Silly me!)

April and May were spring colours in Project Spectrum. My niece's baby, being a girl, helped me make some good PS items:

The whole baby dress outfit - shoes, bonnet, dress (I bet by the time she is big enough for it, she will be at the pulling shoes and head coverings off stage)

the baby wrap jacket

a cardi. All done, all ends sewn in, all ready to be given to my niece. But when will I find the time? She lives about half an hour or so away and whilst that is not a great time investment, by the time we've done the whole visiting thing it will take an afternoon. At the moment finding a spare afternoon is umm interesting.

I have received good news about fleece importation into the USA. Turns out that the USA is the only country in the world that does not need greasy fleece to be certified "clean" by quarantine. As long as it isn't full of muck or VM, it is fine. So my clean, half flicked fleece should have no problems whatsoever. Hooray! Plus that means I can order fleece from here if I have an urge to spin some Wendy Dennis Polwarth or something yummy from Andyle and Kan-B colours, my favourite suppliers.

Plans for the rest of the week? Continue working on the wrap I am making for my niece. Clean out more of the garage. Get ready for a working bee on Saturday. Get the next sheet of tile stuff up on the wall (still hasn't happened and it has been so cold and damp here this week that the silicon I used on the end of the other sheet is still not cured properly!). Go do some shopping so I have yummy biscuits to eat and some breakfast as well. Buy some more vacuum bags to pack yarn and fleece into (fleece is not being greatly compressed but just some so it is easier to pack into boxes, etc). Go to crafties tonight. Go to tribal dinner tomorrow night. Feel crabby because we forgot to put the stinking garbage bin out and it is too late to get it collected this week.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Are my priorities wrong?

G'day all!

I am trying to make lists of what to take with me. THe lists vary depending on what the moving company will move. So I am confining my lists to what to put in my suitcase.

At the top of the list is my spinning wheel (a little gem II). It fits in the suitcase very nicely indeed, and so will other stuff! Hooray! (Yes it does have a travel bag, as modeled by Nutmeg recently, but it is not that protective and we will have to change planes on a trek that will take us about 20 hours plus I've seen how the baggage handlers deal with manual loading/unloading.)

Then there is food - some bits and pieces to tide me over the first few days of disorientation. Then clothes. Plus disks of our data from here - no point bringing the whole computer cos they need different power stuff and mine is hmm 5 years old?

It would be very handy if the moving company tells us what sort of stuff we should be looking at moving - just clothes and books and important paperwork wot we will need (eg tax stuff)? Furniture? What?

Yesterday some friends of ours took away quite a few of Nathan's babies. He is now sad because his babies have fled the nest. Our friends are going to water Nathan's babies and stick them in their yards and give them another drink or two if they need it. Nathan loves his plants. He loves propagating them. We have a few too many plants. On Saturday our friends are going to help us with yard work and stuff. That will be fab!

In between fussing about the bathroom (one sheet of the tiling system is up and looks good but has a bulge at the bottom which we are worried about - it needs more glue behind it but getting the glue there is not going to be easy!) and the yard and the packing that needs to be done and trying to flick out several hundred fleeces of VM (maybe not several hundred, but enough!), I have been doing a little knitting. I'm knitting a diamond wrap from Victorian Lace Today for my niece, the one with the baby. OK I still have not seen the baby but we are sorta busy and distracted at present and I bet she is busy too, getting over mastitis and having a young baby at home. Anyway, the wrap is nice because it involves just the teensiest bit of brain power but is not tediously boring. It needs a little attention but not mind-numbing attention. I think it is just right :-) I think I like repetitive lace patterns.

Oh, Tanya W, you want to buy some yarn but optusnet keeps telling yahoo your email account does not exist (ie when I email you, it bounces). Postage is $5 for the whole lot.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's a wrap -AKC

G'day all!

Well stress has hit the big time around the Modest Manor. Oh boy.... People keep asking me, "How do you feel? Are you stressed or worried about the move?"

Well what do you think? Do you think I am cool as a cucumber or am I screeching, "I'm a teapot! I'm a teapot!"

I'd show you a pic of my spout but that would be a little much for this sort of blog, eh?

So much to do, so little time. We don't have an exact date, we have not been told anything about the move, what we should be bringing with us.... We know that there is no point bringing electrical goods with us since we run on 240V and the US is on 110V, plus our plugs are different *and* we have switches to turn the power on and off at the wall! A miracle of forethought!

I finished the baby stuff. haven't got pics of the finished stuff - the weather has been so up and down (mostly down) recently (though no rain for a couple of days now) that every time I get armed with the camera, it has clouded over and looks terribly gloomy again. Our camera is not a rainy day camera. It likes sun.

Here's a pic of the then unfinished wrap I've made that is sized for a late prem baby - hope it fits. I did miles of icord to finish it off and act as the tie. You can see the idea of the finished thing in the pic.

Nutmeg has been a bit odd recently, and not just from falling in the duckweed tank:

(Love that tail!)

I think she is cold. I heard funny noises behind the couch the other day and looked behind it to find this:

a cat in the travel bag for my spinning wheel. Her eyes don't seem to be pointing in the same direction. Maybe she is sensing that things are happening - there is always new junk in different places of the house to smell and examine and smoodge. Gosh I am going to miss the Nut in particular. She is such a well mannered cat (except when she uses her claws to launch onto or off my lap). There's lots of things I'll miss - the sound of an Aussie accent, the shared cultural background, the smell of gumtrees (but I guess I can get eucalyptus oil there, right? And there is always California - Californian chaps be warned, I may need a regular fix of real gum trees), friends, family, familiarity, not getting run over trying to cross the road.... but lots of opportunity too!

I knitted a sock in two days but I don't like the picot edge.

It is a rainy day inspired sock - inspired because I did it toe up, different heel, etc. Effectively the same though. Since I only have one skein of this yarn that I dyed, I am knitting the other one in a skein of a similar weight/type yarn in violet. 8 ply/DK socks are soooo quick to knit. I must say that the sock name was very very appropriate because I started it last Thursday, which is when it started to rain and rain and rain (though we ended up not quite getting an inch of rain but it's been cold and tending to rain ever since). Maybe if I knit the other sock some, I'll make it rain more.

I also finished the first of Nathan's Wildfoote socks.

Hooray! It has been my bag knitting for over a month. I tend to leave sock projects in my pack to take with me when I go out, and snatch a few rows here and there.

Hmm, time to go to bed and stress some more! I have to get rid of a heap of barbie dolls, mint in box (but the boxes might be a little damaged after 5 moves...). People tell me just put it on ebay, but that means getting pics and actually wrangling ebay into cooperating. Anyone know any barbie collectors?

Also, anyone know anything about importing fleece into the USA? I know Oz quarantine is very strict but I can't find anything online about US quarantine.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Three weeks to V-day

G'day all!

The visa stuff at last is moving. Our interview is on the 7th of June.

HP expects to move us the next week.


(That is funny cos I am agnostic so I don't have a god)

PANIC! So much to do, so little time! Panic! Flap flap flap! Plus I've done my SI joint so I cna't do a whole lot of physical stuff right now like bending and twisting and lifting stuff.

Anyone who wants any of the handspun yarn on my page better get in quick - I'll definitely be taking them to the guild maybe tomorrow, maybe Thursday. Plus I have a hmm-hmm load of hand-dyed yarn to list, not much more sock yarn though so if you want any sock yarn from me, you'd better keep a watch on the hand-dyed page... I am updating the hand-dyed page with some lovley blues and violets that simply refuse to have their pictures taken accurately. All those rich blues and violets and purples wipe the camera out.

I have real pics of real knitting to show you but not right now - I've gotta go flap a bit!


Thursday, May 17, 2007

ooh, rain!

G'day all!

Still no camera action, though we do have a work around now. Hooray! Pity it is so dark here that I can't get good shots anyway.

Yes it is dark even though it is daytime. Why is it dark?

Cos this Stuff keeps falling from the sky!

OK, so only about 14mm has fallen in the last day but everything is damp and icky. 19mm in the last week and it looks like there is more to come. The cats keep tracking in dirt - they run around under the house, which is dry, but have to go through wet bits to get back inside. Cheshire is a particularly good weather tracker. She appears inside whenever the weather is likely to be wet. She has been inside a LOT recently. Nutmeg is not a good weather tracker since she likes to sleep in a sunny window no matter the weather (and for that matter no matter the sun). Our rainwater tanks are nearly full again. The plants are looking very green and perky (except for the autumnal ones).

Yesterday Nathan and I rode our bikes up to his work. Thank heavens for me putting my brolly (umbrella) in his pannier because 15 minutes after we got there, the heavens opened and basically did not stop until late afternoon. I had to go into town (ie the City, ie Melbourne CBD) as I had a load of library books to return to the guild and a previously lost, now refound old passport to hand in. I didn't ride the bike home again - I just sat on the train all the way instead. Not sure why! Something to do with it being twilight at 4pm and icky damp?

Knitting - the baby wrap jacket is knitted and half sewn up. I am now doing miles of I-cord to finish it off. I started a new sock - I've had a bug about making these magknits rainy day socks since I saw them linked on someone's blog. I had one lonely skein of purple yarn I had dyed up. It is coming up so cushy! I wish I could show you pics of it and it would be even better if we had feel-o-vision but we don't.

I am also going through my 20 or so fleeces and working out which ones I can clean up quickly enough to take to the US with us. I have some lovely fleeces. I also spun up a whole icky fleece that I've now dyed and will make into a rug of some sort, most likely knitted. It is an icky fleece cos it is coarse.

Golly, apparently Dubya is going to come to Australia. As his presidential cavalcade drives through Sydney there will be a helicopter flying overhead with signal-jamming equipment. So he will have ridiculous amounts of security. To put it in the Australian vernacular, what a wank! Are his security advisers that afraid of his reputation here? We mjavascript:void(0)ay not have a very high opinion of him but like we are Australians, we can't really give a rat's (ie laissez faire r us), and he is America's problem to deal with, not ours....


Wednesday, May 16, 2007


G'day all!

Must share this poor pussy tale with you. (If you could see the pictures of the tail, you'd be amused!)

Nutmeg is checking out the duckweed tank we have in the back yard. It is an acrylic tank about 60cm high (2') with about 6cm of water in it. It has shadecloth over it to stop the mossies getting in/out. Nothing holds the shadecloth on or down apart from its own weight. The tank has been there for hmm, about 5 months now I guess. Nutmeg's never shown interest in it before.

The Nut gets that look in her eye, the look a cat gets when they go a bit silly.

She leaps up onto the shadecloth on the tank.

The shadecloth takes her weight for about 5 milliseconds, then drops her perilously close to the water level. But haha! She is not in the water.


She prances along the shadecloth and discovers her feet are getting wet. So she back pedals. As she backpedals, she pulls more and more of the shadecloth into the tank with her, just like when you pull the paper towel and the whole lot whizzes off the roll at you. So she starts back pedalling faster and faster and more and more shadecloth lands in the tank with her.

Splosh, she's in the tank with the duckweed!!!

Her tail goes straight up into a dunny brush and she magically levitates out of the tank in the way that only cats can.

By this stage I am practically rolling on the ground laughing. I am such a cruel Hand that Feeds. Nutmeg is completely beside herself and extremely indignant about me laughing. Her dunny brush tail stays fluffed up and she won't come near me. All my fault of course!

(I eventually caught her and dried her off with a towel. She was wet up to the belly. I wish I could share the dunny brush cat tail pic with you - she looks like a racoon when she puffs up.)

(BTW, the visa stuff is now sent off, all is not lost yet)


Monday, May 14, 2007

Crappy bottom

G'day all again!

Well we just found out why there has been no progress on the visa front.

Amongst all the emails Nathan has been sent (saying print this form and return it to us, with another email following saying oh whoops, print *this form* and an other email saying let's try again - access this link, complete the form, etc, etc) was one particular email that was not stuffed up. Except Nathan didn't read it properly because it was just another email with dud links in a pile of repetitive, unnecessary and above all confusing emails....

It just so happens to be the form that is needed for us to send back to them so they can send us a US immigration form to set up a visa interview. It was sent to us a month ago. It takes between 1-3 months to process the visa application.


Looks like we won't be there until summer now. Spewin', as we so graciously say here. I might not even get there in time for Estes Park! Triple DANG! Plus our money situation - well living off the mortgage is Not Good and the people who want to mind our house have a bit of a deadline too.

Guess I'd best be ringing up a new temping agency recommended to me, see if they can offer me work!

PS - the image server is down, so not only don't I have the ability to download photos from the camera to my computer, I couldn't upload them anyway = no pics today. This also means yarnivorous is down as well.
PPS image and yarnivorous servers are back online again. Hooray!

"I never" meme

G'day all!

Here's a new to me meme. I got it from Dreamcatcher, she got it from...

Instructions for this meme are: Edit the list, bold for stuff you've done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you're not planning on doing. So here goes!

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting (???)
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money (a bold dream but not one I'll be doing!)
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting (twined? Or just fair isle patterns?)
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dyeing yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Knitting in public

Hmm, according to this list, there ain't much left for me to experience knitting wise, but that is sooooo very wrong! The great thing about knitting is *everything* is different (except if you insist on knitting the same thing over and over in the same yarn on the same needles).

Grab the meme if you want to :-)

BTW, if anyone knows Knitme's email addy, give her a poke and get her to come on over. Otherwise I'll announce another winner and see if I get a response there...


We have a winnah!

G'day all!

Remember my contest for a) mishandling Dangerous Stuff and b) being a great aunt?

Well we have a winner!

"KnitMe, come on down! You get to pick something off my website or let me know what you would like. (note the Marta Black sock yarn is gone as is the multi-mauve laceweight, but I have plenty o other stuff not yet up so let me know what you like!)

I have a little weeeeeny problem at the moment. Y'know how I upgraded my computer OS the other day?

Well now it doesn't recognise my camera. It wouldn't recognise your camera either. It doesn't like cameras any more. It has forgotten its purpose in creation - to download photos. (This photo downloading software would not voom if you put 40,000 volts through it!) It is a known problem and I just have to wait for them to fix it - every second time they make changes to the system, someone forgets that the reason why this is set up like that is to avoid busting the camera drivers. So it is just as well I can fit another 500 or so photos on the card. But that does not help us now! You can't even get pictures of Yet Another Sunset. Woe! How will you survive?

Topping it off nicely, the program I usually use for web pages is not supported by the Ubuntu community so when I upgraded, it took my program away! I can write plain html but it is a PITA not being able to preview it on the fly. I just have to reinstall it but I have to remember how to reinstall it....


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Resounding silence

G'day all!

Well there's been resounding silence on the baby dress (except for 2paw! Thanks!) - I am guessing that bloglines/etc have not picked up the new post yet, a day after it went out. Still, whatever. Either the RSS feeds are playing up or it is realllllly ugleee! The people who have seen it have thought it was very noice indeed! So I am guessing the RSS feeds ain't working.

I have to get my lovely assistant to pick a name out of a hat for the contest winner. I am having a most excellent time looking at blogs that are new to me :-) Unfortunately I managed to crash my extremely robust system doing the same old same old. I am becoming less impressed by open office by the minute (it crashes my machine so badly I have to pull the power cord on it to reboot!) . Anyway the upshot is that I keep losing nice shiny new (to me) blogs and having to restart and find them all over again. I have even upgraded twice to stop this problem happening but no dice. Online stuff only tells me to get onto another machine and kick the offending program in the guts from there but that doesn't help as I can't log into my own machine when it is not responding to the keyboard or mouse or anything for that matter.....

I've been a total vegetable again today (hmm, which one? Maybe a potato). The gut bug is still trying to kick my butt, and I am trying to kick its with excellent nutrition, good gut bugs (acidophilus variants) and a little rest (ie I washed two fleeces today, knitted a bit and helped Nathan put the heated towel rail on the bathroom wall and walked 3.5km to get some gf/df chocolate biscuits cos I was desperate for a fix).

Heh. Tonight on the telly they had a little skit with two blokes playing roles from a japanese sword movie. They are making all the chings and swooshes with their own voices. One lops the leg off the other, making him hop around but in a mighty blow, One Leg chops the head off the Leg Lopper then picks the head up and sticks it back on the lopper's neck. In honour of the cleverness of that skit, I give you:

The headless Nut! (Gosh that furry pussy belly is just begging to be rubbed! And if you are lucky you will get a prrrmeow! from her too!)


Friday, May 11, 2007

Isabella's Dress - AKC

G'day all!

I finally regained enough brain cells to get some pictures of the things I've been making these last two weeks.

Here's Isabella's dress:

(It is not really an odd reddy pinky overexposed and faded colour - the people who have seen it love it. It is a winy sort of merlot working on shiraz colour with pinkier bits and the odd little purple bit. yes I dyed the yarn after the pink dye was that bit too intestinal pink, y'know...) The dress is technically for a three month old but I think the mite might be wearing it a fair whack after that. The dress looks huge to me.

Here's a close up of the lace pattern:

(Little Chevrons from the second Barbara Walker Treasury.)

I've also made a bonnet. Haven't done the booties yet.

This cardi is meant for a three month old too.

It *is* smaller than the dress but not by much and does not have the bands (or the sleeves) on it yet. Sleeves are up to the shaping now. Edgings are a daisy pattern out of the Vogue Stitchionary

Since I have been making stuff for whopping big babies, I found a pattern for prem babies and immediately decided to make the largest size in that:

It is all in MOSS stitch! (Seed stitch to some of you). One knit, one purl. ARGH! So SLOW! Still I am most of the way to the top of the back now, only about another 10-odd rows to go. It does look somewhat smaller than the other items, so that is muuuuuch better for a little baby. Then again, 6lb is a good size for a month early and with any luck she'll put on weight quickly. (I guess I should not remind people that her Mum is the one who has the big front porch that she used to push in *anyone's* face, even people who didn't need to see it like me, but then again big boobs don't necessarily mean milch cow...)

Once the seed stitch baby kimono wrap is done, I should make a matching hat so the little tyke has one set from me that she can wear now, or at least when she is released..

I admit to being a bad great aunt already. I have not yet seen the baby. I should see if we can visit tomorrow and take the camera along. They have quiet time at the hospital so I'll have to ring first. And yes, the baby did come on Sunday but by C-section which means they stay in for a while.

I've been enjoying your terrible tales of chemical stupidity and the great aunt tales. I shall draw a winner tomorrow!

Tonight's bizarre experience. (We need a little set up first)

Earlier this week Nathan got in a steenky temper and went for a long walk. He walked to Springvale and found a new cafe up there, a cafe with a distinct Latin feel. This morning he had breakfast there. It is definately a new place just finding its feet.

Anyway we went back there tonight for dinner, only they don't have a vegetarian option and we had vegetarians in our party. So we dined elsewhere (much to my FiL's displeasure at first cos it was a meatless place, oh and I had already eaten cos eating out for me is fraught) and came back for coffee/hot chocolate/cold drinks and cake.

It doesn't seem bizarre yet, does it? It was only when we got back home that Nathan asked me about the atmosphere in the cafe. I really got the feeling that the Latino/Latina types in there were rather surprised to see us in there. I am clearly not Latina. Nathan felt the same sort of thing. The older people in particular (who looked like the parents and grandparents of the people running the place) seemed well a bit frowny. They gave us very funny looks. "Why on earth are you here?" they seemed to be saying.

The young owners of the place didn't care. They've grown up here. They are Australians. They just like having people in the door eating the food and drinking the coffee. Same with us - if we find a nice place where the food is good and Nathan likes the coffee, we don't care who runs it (as long as they meet health standards! LOL). They could be collectivist deconstructionist pre-post-neo-socialist lesbian whales for all we care. Nathan likes the place and wants to do some jamming with the musos who often hang out there so we'll be back!

Finally, a quick pic or two of Nutmeg.

(No big pic) A fuzzy shot of her about to mew at me. Looks like she's getting ready to fang me!

The Nut and in the background the leaves of the native orchids that grace our back yard. Yes they are small - only a couple of inches across. Yes they come up in autumn and flower in winter and spring - remember our winters are very mild.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Still here!

G'day all!

I am still here! I am getting better I think - my brain is slowly returning to me and I don't feel so bad and I'm eating again! Hooray! But I did break a glass today (thinking I could open a cupboard door with two glasses in my hand - answer is that I can't) and started getting really cranky. If I'm cranky I must be getting better! Hooray!

I've done a lot of knitting and a lot of watching daytime TV. My god, daytime TV is BAD! Dr Phil can be interesting but at the moment the ones we are seeing are like BORE-RING! (We are at least two months behind the USA) Then there's Oprah. I didn't realise Oprah sells peoples' books for them. That is what her shows are - infomercials. Then we get ready steady cook, in which a chef and an audience member pair up to cook off against another chef/layperson - what can they make in 20 minutes? Vaguely amusing. Judge Judy. Goodness, she is a ballbreaker! Talk about no nonsense! Note this is me watching one channel only. Couldn't even be bothered grabbing the remote to change channel.

I have knitted items to show off - they are blocking at present. I knitted a whole jacket fronts and back yesterday and got well into the sleeves before I realised the sleeves were almost big enough for me (OK, not quite). So I ripped the sleeves and started again with a 10 stitch smaller size... I am currently working on a baby kimono top knitted in moss (seed) stitch all in one piece. It is baby pink with hot pink edgings. I've only gotten partway to the sleeves so far. Twil be a boring thing to knit but great TV/book reading stuff since moss stitch is not exactly hard to do.

OK, gotta go turn off the dye pot. I've been trying my hand at dyeing yarn to match some great Aussie reds. I don't think I've managed that, particularly since one of my favourite colours suddenly ran out and it is the perfect base colour, but we live.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Good news and bad news

G'day all!

I crawled off to the doctor today. Poor widdle me hasn't been feeling well since *before* I dropped the thermometer on Sa*turd*day night.

Doctor said "You don't have mercury poisoning. You are the third patient in the last five who has the same symptoms."

Yep, I got me a gut bug! No appetite, no energy, no va-voom! Twitchy and upset (dehydration). Doctor says it will clear up in the next 48 hours or so - that is most of a week that I'll ahve had this for then!

I finished the baby dress today. All sewn up. Then I discovered that I miscounted the eyelets for the ribbon, dang! Also I very carefully put the top button hole on the wrong side of the neck band... after I had sewn down the picot edge. It only took an hour to sew the edge down cos I kept trying to be fancy. So no button hole for the top button. It fits quite easily through a stitch. Of course I wasn't wrangling a wriggling baby as I put the button through a stitch.

No pics yet - I need to block the lace some. Yes I should do it before sewing it up but it's done in the round so I figured it can be blocked now. It is very cute.

Just as well that I haven't gone to see the baby eh? Mel does NOT need this gut bug. Not after a caesar.

After sitting in the surgery for an hour, I am about halfway through the bonnet. Another hour or two and it will be done too! Then the stupid little shoes. Dang, need to buy more buttons for the shoes....

Thanks for all the entries so far - I am glad to see I am not the first to try to poison myself with something horrid, or stab myself. Actually, whilst thinking of lab accidents, I used to do electron microscopy (transmission and scanning). One time I was wearing my contact lenses (VERY naughty!) so I could look through the TEM lenses easily without having to adjust them to billy-o for my myopia and also have to put my glasses on to make adjustments to the machine when I wanted to change something. Yep, I'm that shortsighted. I ended up needing to stain some more sections. So here I am, with my safety glasses on and a big wad of paper towel over the end of a syringe of uranyl acetate as I tap it and then squueeeeeze the syringe ever so gently to get the air out. (I can't even remember why the air had to come out - I think it spoiled the prep after a while.)

BLURT! The syringe blurted a several drops of uranium straight around the paper towel, under the safety glasses and straight into my eye! Boy did it hurt! Plus I had to hook the contact lens out. Then 15 minutes with the eye wash, an hour at the doctor's, an eyepatch and a permanent scar on my sclera (the white)!

I didn't get in much trouble because the lab manager knew that I was very very careful with what I did. Apart from the contact lenses, I followed all the lab guidelines very strictly.

So keep those horror stories rolling in, along with the awful great aunts. Alas the only thing I'll be able to stink of is myself - can't wear perfume and as for mothballs.... ergh! I might be able to arrange a faint whiff of cat wee though. Will that help?


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Competition time!

G'day all!

Because I am feeling generous at the moment, having given myself a nice dose of mercury (very therapeutic as long as you are Victorian or earlier, doncha know!) and also having developed a grand-niece, I reckon it is time for a competition.

What do you need to do?

One of two things (or both if you want!). Tell me:

  1. about a time you mishandled dangerous chemicals and/or compounds, eg when you played with a mercury switch and blew it up, causing mercury vapour to cover the whole area (including your lungs and skin...) or
  2. what I should do to appear more like a great aunt? (Eg how should I dress, what embarrassing habits should I adopt) (Don't say get wrinkly - I am working on that all by myself! LOL)

Prizes are your choice of anything up to 100g of yarn not yet sold from my website or if there is something specific you particularly want that is sold I can see if I can dye some more up or do a custom dye job.

Competition closes Friday May 11 10PM EST Oz time. That means Thursday midnight for the westernmost US states I think...


Crikey - Isabella!

G'day all!

Last night we went to visit my sister as she was having her preggers daughter around to dinner (not for dinner - we don't eat people). Just as well we went because today my niece isn't preggers any more.

Isabella (not annabella) decided to come a month early. 6lb, bruised from headbutting her mum whilst trying to get out (C-section followed when mum had an allergic reaction to ?the pethidine?). All are doing well. Grandmother is doing less well - she isn't ready to be a granma yet. LOL

It was a dark and rainy night as we drove home from B's place last night. As we dawdled along a local road, we both saw a funny leaf bounding across the road. It was bouncing in a very odd, very controlled sort of way. Sort like it was leaping - waaaah! Wooo! Waaah!

It was a little frog dashing for safety. :-)

In other news, the baby dress is almost done - the sleeves are finished and awaiting attachment to the body and the neckband being knitted up, etc, etc. Only bonnet and stupid little cutesy shoes to go. I should have it all done by the end of the week, even with the ribbons on it.

OK, time to go make dinner. It has been a busy day, with an SnB and baby dress stuff and a friend visiting and now a new baby in the family!


Saturday, May 05, 2007


Mental note to self - do NOT drop a thermometer on the floor!

(an hour and a half of crouching with damp paper towel ensued, picking up bits of ?mercury? or a more "friendly" liquid metal then ensued. Glad I picked the cats' bowl up - it had little beads of liquid metal splattered on it...)

My achilles are killing me! Rather like the original Achilles...


Thursday, May 03, 2007

may the fourth be with you...always

G'day all!

May the fourth, eh? Gosh how time flies. I've been unemployed for 10 months now, with two months temping work along the way. Times are interesting. The weather is cooler now but still not cold, well what we call cold = temps only hitting 15 or 16 C during the day. It is still about 19 or 20C. The trees are starting to colour up, except for our useless loser of a liquidambar whose days are numbered. It goes a vaguely yellow colour and considering it dominates our small front yard and has its roots in all the pipes it is going to have an accident.

May is not my favourite month of the year. It is the first month with short days. It is a month full of memories. My father died on May Day (sorta appropriate) two years ago, and my mum died at the end of the month 16 years ago, and a good family fried died in the middle of the month what two years ago as well.

So you can probably see why I don't like May.

May does have one good point. I get to see both sunrise and sunset. See?

(Sunsets from the previous three nights and a blessedly rainy sunrise from yesterday morning decorate this post. 12mm of rain fell yesterday, plus probably an extra 2mm overnight! 30-odd cm of water in the tanks!)(Excuse the powerlines - if I go and stand out the front of next door where there are fewer lines, the daughter there thinks I am mad and possibly doing something illegal, certainly something she would not do. I'll pay the mad part but I don't think it is a crime taking pictures of sunset is it?)

This morning was not so pleasant as waking up to thunderstorms and rain. Nutmeg woke me up by running up the bed and staring intently at me from a very short distance away, and the only way to stop her annoying me was to let her out of the bedroom (we have to shut the door against the depredations of Cheshire, who enjoys galloping around at 3am). So I crawl out of bed at 6:55 and let Nutmeg out. As I open the door I have a horrid runny nose feeling and put my hand up to stop it dripping. Umm, yeah, snot isn't red is it?

So I got to see sunrise again today, or at least it got less dull behind the clouds. I am a bit squeamish about bleeding (blood itself is fine, it is just when it is actively leaking from living bodies as opposed to body bodies) and my own blood coming out my nose is extra-exciting making. (Of course if it was someone else's blood coming out my nose that would be even more interesting!) No sleep ins after that!

In knitting news, I have finished the body of the dress. It is a nice venous blood colour, except for the pinky bits. I am now working on both sleeves - may as well do them at the same time cos then I can stuff up both of them at once not separately. If I had been clever I would've taken a picture of it when I was doing more photos of yarn, but no I am not clever.

The pink handspun shawl is stalled - I am really gunning this baby dress at present. For me to be pretty much monogamous on a project is very very unusual. I think I am considering options with the shawl/wrap. Do I want it to be a shawl? Or a rectangular wrap? What can I work out to do from Victorian Lace Today? The book arrived the other day, May Day I believe, and it is lush and I am overwhelmed. So purty!

In socky news, I am still waiting for my STR Rockin Sock Club yarn to arrive. I emailed them and a new skein, etc, is on its way. I can only guess the original has gone via Austria. Plus just before I went to Colorado on the fact finding mission with Nathan, I had been knitting a sock in Tofutsies.

Well dang and blast it, it had a knot in the yarn just before I began the ribbing on my toe-up sock. Grr. So I unknotted the yarn and knitted in the ends and kept going.

Another knot. By this stage it is 11:30 on the night before I have to be in a taxi at 6:30am to get to the airport in time. I had a hissy fit and cut this knot out. I also thanked whatever gods that I do toe up socks not the other way - imagine knots/joins in the toe shaping!

On the cast off row, guess what?

Another #$@@%##^@ knot! It was midnight by now and I had to rip the sock back to before the last two knots and then just cast off with a very short lot of ribbing.

According to the socknitters list I am one of the very very lucky people to ever get a knot in my Tofutsies. Only five other knots have ever been reported. I was the Very First to Get More Than One Knot. I am SOOOO privileged! I contacted the company that I bought the yarn from and they agreed to exchange the ball - they wanted to see the knots/ends, so they got the sock as well.

I am now the recipient of a new ball of Tofutsies. Wish me luck for when I knit it up. 8-)

No news on the Big Move. It is getting tedious. Nathan keeps having to fill out more and more forms for the HR people to access his Official Records (eg is he a killer terrorist or repeat offender for DUI, or as we put it driving over point oh-five, or pissed, and has he lied about his employment history?). Most of the stuff they are checking now is Monash based stuff, where Nathan is currently employed. He has to fill the forms out, fax them to HR and they then fax them to personnel at Monash. If Nathan sends the forms direct to personnel at Monash, he is breaking the chain! Egads, we cannot have that! I love the way they are checking to see if Nathan works there - they ring up and ask if the person on the other end of the phone knows him. Um, what does that prove? They are not even asking for verbal references.

Thanks to those who have bought yarn. Some nice stuff has moved off already. I will probably make my way to the Sunday SnB meet in Albert Park, so if you want sock yarn or other yarn and will be there, let me know and then you don't pay postage! I have some more to put online - I've been tidying up the fibre room (though you wouldn't know it) and finding stuff I dyed ages ago that I never listed. Plus there is stuff that I was going to keep for myself and now? I think it needs to move on. I am also going to put up a section for sad and lonely skeins. Some never had a mate, some were triplets but only two sold, some were pairs that are fraternal not identical. They are all lovely yarns, just a little lonely. Most have enough yardage to make a hat from or a pair of fetchings or other fingerless mitts, some are lonely sock skeins - great for colourwork, all want a good home!

I have to go visit a whole lot of bloggy-Melburnians who I keep finding via comments. Alas, due to this stupid bug that causes my computer to freeze when I mouseover the file menu in open office document writer, I keep losing your blogs before I bookmark them. Be warned, I will find you soon enough my pretties!


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

AKC - Annabella's dress

G'day all!

What a feral day it was here yesterday! Absolutely vicious nor-norwesterly blowing. Gave me a case of the grumps, mainly cos it blew the washing off the line (a black house spider moved into the peg basket three months ago and I have not yet evicted her but am not game to put my hand in...) and blew my newly washed fleece right off the rack into the mulch (and the fleece was almost VM-free, but not after it blew around and around in the mulch...). It even blew the rack away! My plans to plant stuff went awry because it was so windy any plants that I unpotted and put in the ground would dry out in seconds.

I tried to get pics of the yarn I've dyed up recently but even that was a problem - if I let go of it for long enough to get pics, it would start blowing away too!

However, I did find the pics I couldn't find that I was sure I had taken - they had not been downloaded from the camera from over a week ago! How silly of me!

I finally got a shot or two of things I am working on at the moment.

Here's Annabella's dress, such as it is - about 14cm of it and counting. I am using umm, gosh, must go check what the pattern is called.... Little Chevrons? from Barbara Walker's second treasury. When you do 22 repeats of the pattern in each round, you really get to learn the pattern. Also I like these repetitive patterns as they are easily read - if I forget what line I am on, I just look at what went before.

I've also been diverting myself with playing with some handspun that I absolutely adore. It is so soft and silky. It is a comeback fleece (ie a sheep whose mother was a merino cross and who has been bred back to a merino). It didn't take the dye well but that is ok - it is subtle!

Anyway, I thought I wanted something like a clapotis, only with faggotting (must have faggots in it!),

but then I decided I wanted an edging and the option of doing patterns, so it has ended up like this, for the nonce.

I only have nearly 700m of yarn to play with (there's another larger ball), so plenty left to do!

In news that you have been waiting for, the shop is updated! Go here for new sock yarns or here for the handspun yarns!

Finally, a pussy pic - the eye of Nut