Friday, September 28, 2007

All socks all the time

G'day all!

I'm waaay into socks at present. All socks all the time.

Except I'm currently working on two jackets. LOL

Anyway, let's look at some socks.

This is one of my favouritest ever socks. Honest. It has *everything* Colour and design! I've been testing patterns for bright yarns. That is what inspired the butterfly/bow socks and this new one.

Gosh I like this sock. It is actually a good fit - the lighting in our atrium area was sorta dodgy and makes it look baggy, but it fits like a glove. The yarn is easy to knit with (minus some carding problems) and the sock feels really fluid. I guess that is the seacell in it.

Look at that heel! The gusset increases (this is a toe up sock remember) were inspired by ooh, gotta go check the latest Knitty, ah and the heel is a version of the one Cookie A used on Baudelaire.

The yarn? Sea Wool.
The pattern? My own basic sock pattern, quilting pattern (can be found in Vogue Stitchionary and also Barbara Walker's first treasury of knitting patterns).

Should I write this up for you all to play with?

Oh ages ago, I promised a sock using the dayflower pattern. Well I never did write it up properly, and in the meantime, I've discovered someone beat me to the punch! Please go see Ramona's blog and the knitalong for her campanula for a cure sock. (I am so late advertising this - I just discovered the links in an email that I didn't open as I got swamped by emails from a malfunctioning server about a month ago. Many apologies, Ramona!)

Then I ripped out a Colinette Jitterbug sock that I last knitted any of in March (actually here in Fort Collins in a very nice palestinian restaurant). I could not remember what pattern I was using for it. So I started again.

Jitterbug can be a total PITA for pooling. It seems to be particularly fond of pooling, not simply striping, on my favourite 2.5mm needles and 64 stitches. The colour will remain almost stationary. So I decided to try some of these carrying the yarn in front patterns to see if it moved the pooling along. I could also have changes the number of stitches or the needle size but I want the sock to fit my foot and it does! I also want it to look attractive.

This time I've tried doing the toe increases in the way Turkish socks are made. If you click on the pic to make it big, you might be able to see the increases move away from the centre 8 stitches.

Then I did some butterfly bows to see if they got the pooling moving. Yep! Then there is some quilting, and then just carry the yarn in front over two or three stitches. You can't really see the effect on the top of the sock, but just look at the sole! (toe to the left, short row heel to the right)

I am running a toe up sock class at My Sister Knits in November (assuming we are still here! DH's workplace is undergoing more upheaval). I'll be teaching my cast on (which is not a Turkish one, must go find who inspired it), then any of a number of patterns to help make the best of lurid yarn, and a choice of short rowed heel or the gussetted heel.

But for the nonce? I've got to finish not just one but TWO jackets for Taos next week. More on that later.

(PS back is doing pretty well - the chiro couldn't believe I was the same person at the second visit. Still got weird twinges but I think they are the result of muscles having to work properly for the first time in ages)


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Day of pain

G'day all!

Hope it's been a better day for you than me! This morning I "did" my back (it was playing up already but I moved the wrong way and WHAMMY!). I went to the doctor where I got a mole shaved off. That didn't hurt until the anaesthetic wore off and now? Burns!

Anyways, I hopped onto my bike for the umpteenth time today (doctor's visit, then find a chiro - had to ride to them cos we don't have a phone yet, then grocery shopping then back to the chiro.) Chiro does all this stuff and then tells me I have a disk bulge.

Crapulous. No wonder why it hurts more and has more neurological signs than the usual SI joint popping.

More crapulous? Even though we have health insurance, the $40 a pop co-pay means that after four visits this week, we can't afford a mobile (cell) phone. Bottom and poo!

Oh and he doesn't want me riding my bike. Umm, well I can walk there but he doesn't want me walking much either. Or sitting much or standing much or doing much. Being in a car is bad too but I don't have one. He would prefer I drove up there than rode. He suggested I borrow a car, but like from whom? I don't know that the boys down the street (or the cops) would like it if I stole one of their Subaru WRXs....

So I am totally underimpressed. Can't go anywhere, can't do anything, mebbe if I catch the bus but they only run every half hour. At least I have lots of sock yarn.

Just how am I expected to get around?

Saturday, September 22, 2007


G'day all!

I'm BORED! And lonely. I've spent the day at home and there is noone to talk to here cos DH is here giving a talk on Sunday arvo. He has been away Too Much recently and I have been Home Too Much. I have not left Fort Collins in three weeks. I neeeeeed to get into the mountains! Neeed!

So I have stained the two chairs we bought ages ago, now I have to sand them and wipe them down and apply the first of the top coats (all with waterbased, low voc stuff). I have plied up some angora/lambswool/nylon yarn that I recycled from an op shop jumper (translation: thrift store sweater) and dyed it magenta/purple/blue along with a poor unsuspecting ball of Opal all in my quest to make me some nice warm tights/leggings for the bike when it gets cold. I have dyed up some grey silk/angora/nylon mix in the same dye with the idea that if the angora is not too fluffy (it is a very small % in the mix) I can make me a balaclava or a mask with it. Gotta make some nice warm gloves too, for both of us. We have stuff we use in Melbourne but let's face it, it hardly drops below 10C (50F?) in Melbourne. In winter here, 50F is a nice warm day! Admittedly the average daily maximum is over freezing here but that is no consolation when you have to ride at the coldest part of the day!

I slept in, I've knitted some, I've read some (whilst knitting or spinning), I went to Wholefoods to get some ricemilk and some freezer bags (I was surprised - their freezer bags are no more expensive than ones from "normal" supermarkets, and the bags say they contain no PVC or phthalates which is nice cos neither of those are things you want to eat!), I discovered that our Amazon order came through two days after it was posted (pretty good for the free delivery option, which they said would arrive after next Tuesday), I've abused the computer for not ripping CDs properly (then realised it won't rip them onto a full disk), I've blogged.... I've chatted briefly to the next door neighbours who now have FIVE dogs in a two bedroom townhouse cos they are trying to find a home for a rat terrier that is full brother to one of their other dogs. I've done some research on our pump organ (since we got the book to help us restore it today), I've scrubbed the sink (why is it that stainless steel sinks with brushed finishes pick up every stain possible and never let it go? Isn't that a staining sink instead?). I've even tidied up some! I discovered that in the last two days about a gazillion flies have died on the upper windows of the study and now are littering the floor (we realllllly need a vacuum cleaner).

Since I can't find anyone to take me into the mountains to see the aspens and the generally magnif scenery, I guess I'll ride down to Barnes and Noble tomorrow, see if Crazy Aunt Purl's book is in stock there yet, then hit the op shops and generally try not to do any damage to the card. After all I have to save up for the wool festival at Taos, though I am told not to get my hopes up too much there.

Now it is time for bed. Hooray! Only one more sleep after this one before the Boy is Back! He is going to be all talked out and knackered, and I am going to be bouncing on him like a Tigger ;-)


Friday, September 21, 2007

Argh! Want! Colourful things!

G'day all!

You all know that I *love* love LOVE colourful stuff. If it is rainbow coloured, I am like a butterfly drawn to it. (If it is shiny and rainbow coloured, well I am almost beside myself).

So I've been knitting these socks in a yarn that will not be mentioned cos while it is lovely to knit with, mostly, it also has some flaws from the unusual material that makes up 30% of it. You saw the butterfly bow sock a week or so ago, and I would like to show you the new sock in a different pattern! Oh yes, a different pattern, which I think really helps highlight the luridness of the sock. So pretty!

Plus I have some new lurid yarn, indeed two skeins of happy yarn, that I am itching to cast on with, but I forgot to take photos of it before DH ran away with the camera last night. So now I am at a loss - I can neither show you the finished new sock, nor the new skeins of yarn that I have to play with. I don't want to wind the yarn before I get a shot of its happiness. I will just have to finish some other socks that have been hanging around for months!

So I've been cruising and I reallllllllly want to make something with Kauni mulitcolours, whether it be the Kauni cardigan or Astrid's knitalong top or the autumn leaves one (follow the links to online shop and the currency of your choice) or something!

Can anyone dissuade me from making these? I am sure they will be a disaster but jeez they might well be great on a bike, as long as I can deal with having a baggy butt and knees (but the butt will be covered by nice warm jumpers!). I'll substitute some angora blend yarn for the alpaca since alpaca makes me itch.

To entertain you despite the lack of pictures, I give you


Amazing cakes! (two links)

Cousin hobbitses may be a different hominid species not just deformed Homo sapiens (sapiens).

BO detection is genetic!)

I want some of these tops and these

Pretty dresses! Gosh I like vintage clothes, pity I am a healthy sized current day female and can't fit into them.... and I'm an indifferent sewer who doesn't have a sewing machine here so I can't even buy fabric and Vogue/whoever patterns to make clothes with. Plus I ride a bike every day - hard to wear nice clothes on a bike!


You Are Mint Green

Balanced and calm, you have mastered the philosophy of living well.
Your friends seek you out for support, and you are able to bring stability to chaotic situations.
You're very open and cheerful - and you feel like you have a lot of freedom in life.
Your future may hold any number of exciting things, and you're ready for all of them!

Godsakes, makes me sound like a goddess!

And especially for Purplexity:
You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

Hmm, am I really Bert? How can I be Bert and mint green at the same time? However Bert's obsessions with odd things is about right ;-)

Finally, happy Equinox to all! Those in the southern hemisphere are now racing towards summer whilst us in the northern hemisphere, well we are facing winter. Maybe that is why I want bright, colourful, shiny things!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Arrrrr me hearties!

It be International Speak Like a Pirate Day today. ArrrrrhhhHH!

So what be a poirate's favourite letter?

"P" - it's just like an "R", but only has one leg!

What's shiny, golden and sounds like a pirate?


An oldie but a goodie:
A pirate walks into a bar and the bartender says, "Hey, I haven't seen
you in a while. What happened, you look terrible!"

"What do you mean?" the pirate replies, "I'm fine."

The bartender says, "But what about that wooden leg? You didn't have
that before."

"Well," says the pirate, "We were in a battle at sea and a cannon ball
hit my leg but the surgeon fixed me up, and I'm fine, really."

"Yeah," says the bartender, "But what about that hook? Last time I saw
you, you had both hands."

"Well," says the pirate, "We were in another battle and we boarded the
enemy ship. I was in a sword fight and my hand was cut off but the
surgeon fixed me up with this hook, and I feel great, really."

"Oh," says the bartender, "What about that eye patch? Last time you
were in here you had both eyes."

"Well," says the pirate, "One day when we were at sea, some birds were
flying over the ship. I looked up, and one of them shat in my eye."

"So?" replied the bartender, "what happened? You couldn't have lost an
eye just from some bird shit!"

"Well," says the pirate, "I really wasn't used to the hook yet."

What did the pirate say as he had a heart attack?

"Arrrrrh! Me heartie!"

More here :-)

(Knitting or spinning content? What's that? ;-)


Friday, September 14, 2007

Just call me frogger....

G'day all!

You know those days when you rip more than you knit? Well I've been having LOTS of them recently!

I cast on for a new jacket. It is going to be verra nice. I am making a jacket rather than a sweater from a pattern I have been eyeing for a long time. Jackets are more useful to me cos I can shed or add them as needed.

So I carefully worked out how many stitches I needed and cast on. Hmm, my needle is a metre long, my hips are a metre around and the knitting is bunched up on the needle. After 20 rows, I pulled the knitting off the needles and discovered that the jacket (including built in "buttonhole" allowance) wrapped 1.5 times around me.

Ah. Back to the drawing board, minus 50 stitches. Lord knows how I miscalculated that so badly! Maybe my gauge is way off as I am doing it on circs and also am doing it combined or continental or something - left handed and as long as the stitches don't twist I am happy!

Then there is the most Beautiful Sock in the World! I've been up to the gusset twice now, but have decided that the pattern was Not Quite Right both times. It is sooooo quick to knit. It is soooo pretty! But I keep stuffing it up, or it is Not Quite Perfect Enough for me (and I am by no means a perfect knitter - I usually prefer to fudge something rather than rip it back five rows.... let alone the 40-something rows I just ripped).

Hmm. Time to go scrub the kitchen floor some more. We have mostly white tiles and the grouting used to be white but is now a horrid grey. If I scrub the grouting I can get it back to being a lighter grey or even an almost matching sandy colour in spots. I know, I've turned into one of those housewife FREAKS! Fancy getting down on hands and knees and scrubbing?


Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Knitty

G'day all!

Autumn Knitty 2007 is out and boy oh boy, are there some good looking patterns!

Go see!

Now I have to figure out what I can realistically make. Anyone got a good (cheap) online shop for Rowan wool cotton? I need to try some I think. Cucumberpatch? Do they do it? Must go see!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy aniversary to us!

G'day all!

Ignore the date on blogger - I still have it set to Oz time, not this time in the past in the USA.

Today is our anniversary! Yep, September 11. Some people think it is really weird, but it is just a day. Three years ago, we got married on the coldest day with the worst weather. Of course we planned an outdoors wedding amongst wildflowers, but had to deal with indoors whilst it sleeted and snowed outside (and sleet/snow is not at all common in Oz outside of alpine areas). (Gadzooks, we don't even have any pics online anymore! Can't link to them! Ah well, DH looks nicer now with a goatee than he did back then. Maybe I should GIMP a beard onto his then beardless face....)

So for our anniversary, we went for a nice little walk, we did some supermarket shopping and I cooked us fish and chips for dinner (with a lot more vegies than fish and chips normally come with). OK, most people go out and do the whole schmoozing thing but we had an oopsie with the money. Plus with my food requirements it gets difficult. So we are having a quiet evening in.

Pics are from a recentish trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. It is a great place to visit!


Monday, September 10, 2007

A pretty sock

G'day all!

I finished another sock last week. This sock took a lot less time to knit up! Not sure why. Possibly because the conjunction of the needles, the yarn and the pattern were all working for me. I started this sock two Tuesdays ago, and in that time knitted, slowly, the cuffs of the heart beats true socks and almost finished a stole that has been loooong in progress (as long as the socks). I am trying to finish UFOs you see, but this sock just kept leaping into my hands. Even annoyances like the poor spinning of the yarn didn't stop me! (BTW, I emailed the company and they said it is a problem with that yarn but I shouldn't have gotten a skein that was that skanky, or words to that effect, and they will send me a new skein. Good, eh? Hope the new skein is better quality controlled...)

The butterfly sock is toe up with a gusset and "flap" heel based on Cookie A's Baudelaire. Because the yarn is so brightly coloured, I thought a busy/lacy pattern would not show up. Instead I looked for one that has yarn carried on the front of the material. The stitch pattern is based on Butterfly Bows by Judy Gibson in Socks Socks Socks.

I even carried the pattern up the heel, though I stuffed it up - I put the bow int he middle not at the sides so the bows clashed where they first meet on the sides of the cuff. Still, I am not that fussed! It is a SOCK! Not many people will get to see it since socks go with long pants and shoes/boots. If I make knee high socks they I would be fussed cos they often go with skirts.

The "mate" to this sock is going to have a different pattern. I think I will used a "quilted" pattern that I saw in a stitch book where the yarn gets carried across the front for five stitches and then two rounds later gets picked up to make a ^. I'm also contemplating the cat face pattern that I think I saw on JenLa's blog. Not sure yet!

Some links for you - I think I've linked to Patricia Waller before cos I remember the rabbits and carrots....

A different way to sequestrate carbon, and a most useful one too. Earlier this year, DH was discussing making a charcoal burner to make char to put into our soil at home. It is apparently excellent for improving the carbon content (and therefore fertility) of soil. It locks in more carbon than it puts into the air. The carbon stays in the soil for many many many years. It could make Australia's ancient, poor soils fertile.

Some oddbods on top of a (small) mountain in Colorado.

Yesterday was excessively cold (ok, under 10C for a lot of the day) and I was out on the bike with bits of my face freezing off. I was looking for a balaclava pattern. Google reminded me of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and their whacky online library. I could make a balaclava with earflaps so's I can make telephone calls more easily! There are some pretty 1940s patterns here too. I could make Antifreeze! I could make a balaclava with so many holes in it, it would not function as a balaclava! I could also make a helmet liner. Same diff! (NB I really like the way they say acrylic is not warm enough for helmet liners. What about the minor issue that acrylic melts as it burns and causes horrible burns? Wool chars and certainly doesn't melt. Given a choice between acrylic and wool when an incendiary device appears out of nowhere, I'll take the wool thanks!)


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Heart beats true

G'day all!

10 or more days ago I finished a pair of socks.

DK weight socks.

Socks that I started Back 'Ome.

I have no idea why socks that normally take 8 hours each for me to knit took so long (though I guess I did have to wait for the second ball of blue yarn to show up with our Stuff). These socks felt like they would never end. It was driving me crazy!

So I give you my heart beats true red and blue socks. Pattern is my standard toe up with short row heel pattern, modified for DK weight (ie 56 stitches or so rather than 64).

Toes are opposite colours

and so are heels.

Why heart beats true? Well I barrack for Melbourne in the Australian Football League back 'ome, and part of the theme song is "every heart beats true for the red and the blue," red and blue being Melbourne's colours.

I've finished them just in time - it has suddenly gone cold here. Overnight temps are no longer 20 something like they were three weeks ago, or even in the high teens like they were a week ago, nope, now they are below 10. The forecast for daily hights is no longer in the 90s or even high 80s (over 30), now it is for 70s and even some 60s! (20-25 or so) OK, so I am ready for some cooler temps but now they are hitting I am all aquiver for winter! All that fat I've lost riding around like a maniac will have to pile back on!


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Whizzing along

G'day all!

I've been knitting socks again. Yep. Even finished a pair. No pics yet, but I was very pleased with myself cos I finished them and then fixed up the ends and all before I went to bed.

So I started knitting another toe up sock at the LYS knitty gathering two Tuesdays ago cos I had said I would show their sock guru how to start a toe up sock. I carefully chose some expensive sock yarn I had bought from them for the demo sock.

This sock has been whizzing along - so much easier to knit on the Addi turbo circ than on the plastic needles. Whiz whiz whiz.

At the heel turning, I found a little tuft of yarn that sticks out - an end that was not spliced well. Then I found a thicker bit that was not well dyed but I ignored it as much as possible. Then I found another thick bit that was even more poorly dyed and was about as thick as DK. I had to loop that bit out cos it was realllllllly obvious as it was right at the front of the sock. Guess what? Another thick bit that is poorly dyed!

I have emailed the yarn manufacturer and said I am not happy (Jan)! I am underimpressed by the yarn cost vs the quality of what I am getting. The yarn I made Nathan's pullover out of? About 50% of the skeins had knots in them, but crikey, they cost $1 a ball and were pure wool that can be spit-spliced. This stuff is superwash and a bit slippery, and cost 25 of the jumper yarn (plus tax - gadzooks I am getting to hate that plus tax thing). I have different expectations for cheap yarn versus expensive yarn.

Anyway, I will get pics of everything. I'm just lazy today. I haven't been completely well today and I am wondering if it is related to the ants that were in my biscuits, the ants that I didn't notice until late this afternoon? Maybe I had an allergic reaction or something.

Mmm, cake in the oven. Mmmm, chocolate cake. GF and DF. There are lots of interesting looking packet mixes here. Whilst I am an indifferent cook, I am going to have to learn to bake stuff cos I want things like pink lamingtons (sponge type cake rolled in jelly/jello and then in coconut, YUM!) and nice cakes and nice bread. Nice bread is hard to get in the shops here. Back 'ome I could get nice bread from the supermarket. Here they wouldn't know nice bread if they fell over it, it seems. So I have to work out how to make it myself (or does anyone have any recommendations for packet mixes?).