Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Out and about

G'day all!

DH is off at a conference in Winnipeg and this mouse has been playing!

On Monday night I rode across town to the local SnB. Had a lovely time chatting to people, including Kristi and Deb Robson. Heh. Deb recognised me but I didn't recognise her! How embarrassing. LOL and another SnBer, Amanda, recognised me too. That is sorta odd. I am really somewhat of a nobody in the blogging world. My knitting output is sporadic and the technical level of it tends to be low mainly cos I knit to have something in my hands rather than to have to think constantly. That is probably why my progress on the mystery stole has been so slow - I have to think about every single line, so it needs some concentration. Repetitive patterns are good - I stop having to think about them all the time. I'll have something with a repetitive pattern finished soon for your enjoyment.

Yesterday I washed a heap of fleece (but it was less than half of the fleece! Ack! But I've taken the best bits to wash and the rest can sit in the garage whilst I decide what to do with it). It was brightly sunny in the morning and of course by the time I had washed all the fleece, the afternoon thunderstorm had rolled over and it started to rain. However, we have wide overhangs on our place so I just left it on the racks outside. Today it is nearly dry. Just as well cos I have some Wendy Dennis Polwarth to wash and dry.

Ah, I must relate the ICKIEST thing that has happened to me in a loooong time.

I've been using a nasal wash to help clear out my sinuses. Yep, that is icky! But what is even ickier is yesterday I make up the saline solution and happily (??) apply it to one nostril. Things are going well.

Then I swished the bottle and applied it to the other nostril and suddenly there was an EARWIG IN THE BOTTLE! I am snorting EARWIG JUICE!

Argh! Ick, yuck yuck yuck! Like ergh, how do you clean that out? I'm just standing in the bathroom, squeaking in dismay. I ended up doing the painful thing of snorting plain water!

But I am still here today and as silly as usual so I guess no harm came of it. At least I didn't end up with the earwig up my nose!

I also went to the weekly gathering at My Sister Knits last night. That was pleasant. There were more people there than at the SnB. I showed the local sock guru the toe-up cast on that I use (the same one I showed OzKnitter). Now the MSK owner is interested in running a class. I don't think it would be a very long class, but if we added a guesseted toe-up heel class to it as well, it might be different! LOL. I will think about how that could be run - it would have to be a baby sock so that everyone could get it done, or a class run over a couple of weeks so that people could have a chance of knitting a real sock.

I've rearranged our lounge area a little. Nathan also got a harmonium/pedal organ/pump organ for his birthday. It is a lovely bit of furniture and we will restore it some so that he can play it too (the bellows have holes in them and need a bit of fixing!). No pics yet- DH has the camera. I moved it to a different place in the lounge area and set up chairs around it. I brought in a (secondhand) chair we bought, vacuumed it and put a sheet over it (sorta ruins the look of a wingback chair but covers up the remaining dog hair!). Now we both have wingback chairs to sit in, but my chair has a foot stool :-) So I sat with the reading light on me last night and knitted some never ending DK weight sock (and realised that I had 12 more stitches on one sock than the other! Ooops! That is a LOT with DK weight 8-} so to the frog pond it went!) and read some of "No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting" by Anne Macdonald. It was very pleasant too!

Must get wriggling on. I have to go to the library to throw some books back and pick some up. The library is only a couple of miles away but without a car it becomes somewhat more of an expedition!

anon!

Monday, August 27, 2007

An FO! THe Husbandly Sweater

G'day all!

I proudly give you,



The Husbandly Sweater!

Started 18th August.

Finished 26th August (at 11:25pm!) (unless you insist on it being washed and blocked)

Yarn - two strands of DK held together (hence the dithering in the intermediate areas). Yarn was bought at the Sandown Scroatfight (Melbourne, Oz) for 99c a ball. I think I used 8 50g/92m balls of each colour.

Pattern: the top down raglan calculator found here. This is a great calculator but it does not generate a fitted sweater (I made a close-fitted top a couple of years ago and had to fiddle the numbers quite a bit). For DH, I needed to cast on more stitches for the back and fewer for the front - he is a computer geek and has pretty poor posture. But I didn't.

He is happy with the result and it looks pretty good on him, a bit baggy around the chest front but overall I am quite pleased with this. I knitted it in just over a week, which shows how fast I can knit if I want/need to.

Is this my first proper FO for the year? Y'know it might well be - I think I only have a couple of socks, scarves and a hat or two done before now!

anon!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

3rd blogiversary winner!

G'day all!

I got my extra-special random number generator to spew out a lucky number for the comments, and it said 20968!

Hmm, methinks I needed a number between 1 and 42, or the number of comments eligible for entry into the contest.... Heck, if I get 20968 real readers (not just google, bloglines and other search engines finding my blog) in a year, I reckon I am going really well!

So we tried again, and the lucky winner is Theresa, of Knitting Under Way!

Theresa, come on down and claim your very purple sock yarn!

I've had lots of fun reading your comments, and goshdarnit a couple of you decided you should blog in part because of me! I am visiting all of your blogs slowly, slowly because...

I almost have an FO! A whole big mansize sweater, started either Friday or Saturday week ago! I've been knitting like a maniac for days and days and days, and boy am I over this sweater! I might even have it finished before DH's birthday is over! But I have to finish the neckband and tie in the ends and snip off all the woven in ends yet, and I only have 2 hours and 40 minutes of birthday to go!

anon!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bamboo, oh how I adore thee!

G'day all!

I had a lovely time chatting at a LYS, my favourite LYS, today. It just has a nice feel and I could hang out there quite happily. They asked me twice if I was going to come along to their knit night so I guess I will, especially since DH is away next week and I am on my lonesome! They won't know what has hit them cos I'll just blather non-stop. I won't have had anyone to talk to for a day and a half, so I'll be ready to talk the hind leg off a donkey.

The aim of my trip to the LYS was actually to get a new set of circs. I was tired of the ones I had to knit DH's jumper. I had been knitting it on Denises with a loooooong cable but they grabbed the wool (two strands of DK) and hung onto it like terriers. I bought a set of bamboo circs (a whole $8.80 plus tax) to help knit DH's jumper with. Ahhhh, bamboo, how I do love thee! Now the jumper just glides around and around and around with hardly any effort, and the yarn has gone from feeling like steel wool to just feeling like sheep's wool again.

So now the knitting is zipping along. I have 10 rows of this colour, 13 rows of this colour and the next one blended and then however many rows (say 14 rows of plain knitting and 10 rows of rib) to go on the body! That is only umm, just under 50 rows of 165 stitches per row, oh, only 8,000 or so stitches to go? And then there are the sleeves to finish - they are up to the last colour but need to be longer than the body.... Hmm, I'd best get a wriggle on!

anon!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ickiness

G'day all!

Today was a very interesting day. It has been stinking hot here recently, like well into the 30s/90s.

Today it reached maybe 22/70 something. It is now about 15C! Golly, how cold is that! We have not had temps like that for ages, even overnight! I had to put on long pants for only the third time since we got here exactly two months ago!

So today I decided to go out and look for a mobile phone. Americans call them cell phones. We can only get a prepaid plan cos we don't have a social security number nor a credit rating. I rode off to the other end of town ignoring the little spots of rain that were falling on me. What I couldn't see was the big black clouds looming behind me.

I trawled around, found Verizon. They seemed to have decent phones and plans (until I discovered that calling Oz would cost $1.49 a minute, which seems steep). I went to Home Depot and bought compact fluoros for our new lamps (and discovered that one of the lamps doesn't work properly, so I have to repackage it and swap it for a new one tomorrow). I went to a vacuum cleaner dealer and he suggested I buy the $1200 vacuum, to which I said it was a leetle out of our price range (heck we can buy a LOT of stuff for that and several dysons!).

Then it started raining on me as I rode home. The wind was in my face, the rain coming in almost straight at me and it was icky.

Then it started hailing in the rain. Hail really hurts when it whacks you on the nose. It stings elsewhere but noses and hail don't get along. It was my second experience this week with hail - our hire car got severely hailed on in Rocky Mountain National Park (no hail damage thank heavens but eeeek!).

Of course I thought the rain (and hail) had set in for the afternoon so I kept riding instead of seeking shelter. Naturally it stopped raining when I reached the next set of shops I wanted to go to. The sun came out! My front was soaked. People in shops would ask "How are you today?" and I would say "soggy" or "damp." They were rather surprised by my honesty. LOL

So what has this to do with knitting?

Well cos it was not very bright and sunny this afternoon, I still don't have pics of the mysterious birthday sweater. I only have three days, really only two days to finish the rest of the sweater, and I have the arms 2/3 done and the body a bit more than half done, I think. THank heavens for top down raglan sweaters with only a couple of ends to tie in!

Nor do I have better pics of the yarn that you can win in my blogiversary contest. It is very nice yarn - machine washable (but I use cool/cold water), soft and yummy, 75% (Merino?), 25% nylon, hard wearing, and one of my all time favourites to knit with.

Back to cell/mobile phone plans. Who are you with? Are they good? I'm guessing most of you don't call overseas, but for me it is important that it is fairly cheap. So far, AT&T (if $4 fee is paid), virginmobile and Cricket are winning on that price point. Verizon, Sprint and Tmobile lose on international calls.... Plus I will be on prepaid.

Thoughts?

anon!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Blogiversary the Third!

G'day all!

Holy cow, it is my third blogiversary! Wow, time flies when you are having fun :-) And boy has the blogosphere changed since I started blogging - there are so many people to meet out there these days.

This means it is time for a competition! Leave a comment telling me about why you started blogging (and your blog and ravelry names if I don't already know you) by midnight on the 24th of August (wherever you live) and I'll put you in the draw for something nice :-) How about some self-patterning sock yarn in purple, burgundy and a hint of olive? (I dyed it myself :-) There's enough for a plainish pair of socks for up to size 11 feet. It looks something between these two samples - these colours are really hard to capture accurately.


Or Aussies can choose 100g of yarn from my Yarnivorous yarns website. Yep those yarns are still for sale and I have to put some more up now that I have found the pics I took over two months ago. Hooray for finding pics!

So drop me a line by Friday telling me why you started blogging and you'll go in the random draw.

anon!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Argles

G'day all!

Well I am so obviously not a organised freak of nature unlike so many on Ravelry. I am one of those who hates doing audits of stuff and knowing exactly what is there. I guess I am just not detail oriented.

eg I am trying to add bits of my stash onto Ravelry. This means having photos and knowing what the name of the yarn is and having all sorts of details about it that I have never bothered spreadsheeting. I just like having the yarn, not having all its details at my finger tips. I guess Ravelry will change that. As for my various handspun yarns, well, umm, I don't have details of that either. "It's wool and about DK weight and about 200m long." I will get a set of scales eventually so I can get weights but that hasn't happened yet. Plus there is all the stash back 'ome - I only brought a little of it with me (ok, about 10 kilos of yarn, not including fleece). I do have a list, but it is of the form "10 balls green wool, 2 balls yicky furry hot pink stuff, 5 balls brown handspun." I made a list up so that if I really really needed the yarn and could not live without it, I could send for it as I'd know which box it was in and could give our house sitters directions.

Remember our darling pudding tats?

Sods don't miss us at all!

The mystery birthday project is coming along well, not that it is a mystery to the recipient. I bought a slightly too short bamboo circular yesterday and gosh it makes it much easier to knit as the knitting just pushes itself around and around. I did have it on a loooooong Denise cable and it kept sticking. Details of the project when I have pics.

anon!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Help me, obi-wan!

G'day all!

I have cast on for a New Project. Soon you will see pictures. It involves raglan sleeves, top down knitting and four colours. You may or may not be amazed.

Anyway, help me Obi-Wan Kenobi! I fear I will soon fall prey to the dangerous, treacherous pleasures of KnitPicks. How will I avoid such a fell place?

Plus I want to go to Rhinebeck and need to book stuff. Any suggestions of how to get there from Colorado (flying, obviously but what airport? Rental car needed?) where to stay? Anyone else going?

Plus I have been looking at this and feel a strange attraction in the Force. Can I resist the lure? Why do I want to make one anyway? 'Specially out of cotton? Hmmmm....

anon!
anon!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yarn Pr0n - a present!

G'day all!

Lookie what arrived the other day! A prezzie for me :-)


One of my good English buddies promised me a certain sort of yarn. But I got more than that! Thanks, Dreamcatcher!

Of course you want close ups of the yarn. Here you go!




Lovely, eh? The one with white in it is from the Yarn Yard and the pink/blue/mauve one is Posh Emily in Jolly. Oh boy, I just can't wait to find a good project for these - any suggestions?

Plus I bought a little something from Fearless Fibers:


Getting accurate representations of these purply colours is almost impossible. That one is called Midnight Passion and oh boy is it a luscious 4 ounces/550 yards of purply goodness! (BTW, for any of my Aussie mates, if you want something off one of these etsy places or some place on the web that only ships within the USA, you know who to ask! You can use my address and pay me back the postage to Oz via paypal. Email me if you want my address.)

You wanna see some recent knitting?

Well I am only five weeks behind on the mystery stole 3:


that is clue one finished and clue two just started!


And I am on the final repeat of the shawl I am making. It is a simple rectangle with diamond lace. I am using different placements and types of decreases along the way.


See how the central decrease causes a bump in the diamond, whilst a decrease on each side of the diamond leaves the knitting flat? That fascinated me when I discovered it. And the colour? Impossible to get a good shot with our camera - it is actually a burgundy colour.

Guess I should be putting stuff up on Ravelry, shouldn't I? Prolly means using Flickr for my blog pics too. Why put them on the webhost and on Flickr?

But for now I think I am going to find someplace cool, if I can. It is still warm here, 34 C. Back 'ome it is 3 C - early morning and obviously a very clear night. It is hard for me to believe that in three months it will be cold and dark, and in a way it terrifies me. I am so not a cold weather person, though I am starting to think maybe this hot weather is a bit much too!

anon!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Uh-oh, ravelry calls

G'day all!

My invite to Ravelry came in! I'm not exactly set up yet though, but my username is (surprise!) Yarnivorous. Will I ever blog again? Will I fall into the time-sucking pit that is ravelry?

We spent a lovely day in the Rockies wandering around, going places that we are unlikely to go again, going other places we will definitely go again. We left at about 9:30 and got home at 9:30 and am I knackered now!

Someone down the road from us is using a ?circular saw? at 10:50 at night. They are cutting metal or grinding it. Hmm. I guess we will get more and more "interesting" neighbours now that college (uni) and the schools are about to start again.

Bed calls! Soon more pics, including a couple of lovely somethings that arrived in the mailbox recently and my special specialness from the op shop! Oo err.

anon!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Yowzies!

G'day all!

I have a feeling I've had better days - Nathan's cold transferred itself to my sinuses overnight (I have this picture of cold goober virions all carrying pillows and sleeping bags marching out DH's nose, across the pillows and up my nose). Nooooooo! I've been so good to them recently and they go and get all snotty on me, literally. It is really annoying cos we have hired a car for the weekend and the altitude changes, well, it is like going up in a plane. No fun!

Plus tonight my lovely kitchen knife decided that cutting up cauliflower was not fulfilling enough and neatly skewered the pad of my right index finger! It extracted its tithe of blood I can say!

NOOOOOO! Not my main drafting finger! Not my main mouse finger! Not the finger that deals with 7 or so keys on the keyboard. Not the finger that does the yarn throwing! Not the finger that steadies the knife I use at dinner time!

It does throb a bit. Nice clean wound all taped up now with a big gob of betadine (iodine) on it. I hope it heals nice and fast cos I need that finger! Dangit! It is giving me a feeling of deja vu - I cut the side of the tip of my little finger last year and damaged the nerves so much that it is still pretty much numb there. This is a nice skewery wound so it should heal better I hope... Plus I am left handed, which helps some.

Hope your day is/was better! :-)

anon!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bearly there

G'day all!

I've been a busy little (big) bee recently. Until today that is. Today things are stopping a bit due to DH's generosity with the cold he picked up (though I did wash some fleece, do two loads of washing, start hemming some material to cover our disgusting old but free desk with, finish ripping a sweater, start tidying up some in earnest... umm other stuff too....)

So here's something I made up to go in the Lambspun teddy bear auction later this year.


He is all knitted with that double knitting technique (knit one, yarn in front, slip as if to purl, yarn in back, knit one, etc etc), except for the head. And the gut where there are two knits for each slip on the front only. Yep, if they were only going to supply me with green and gold yarn (being Australian colours - green for the gums and yellow for the wattle), my bear had to have a beer gut. It isn't part of the pattern but teddies are supposed to be well rounded *unlike one of the poor skinny things I saw in the box at Lambspun - poor starved teddy! He is definitely a he because he has a flat, shapeless bottom unlike a woman's butt. He is a nice big handful and is about 25cm long. Hope some kid likes him.


I feel he is a bit ugly but hey he is the first bear I've knitted and he does have character.

Hmm, what else? Ah, do you think I like certain colour combinations?

(left - a 50c hand towel bought at the thrift shop, middle - my spiral jacket, right - an almost new jumper bought for $2 at the thrift shop) I just so happened to plonk them down next to each other and was rather struck by the repetition of the colours....

Oh boy, you should see the tea pot I bought myself the other day. $3 at the op shop. It is one of those sets where the cup sits under the pot. It is waaaaay silly/funky/cutesy/wrong. Unfortunately I forgot to get a pic of it. You'll have to wait until later. I can tell you are all hanging on the edges of your seats :-D

anon!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Entertainment

G'day all!

Our Stuff arrived today! Hooray I have a ballwinder and skeinholder and lazy kate again!

I'm totally underwhelmed by the packing of our Stuff. It was all just dumped into boxes, including the loose mugs/cups and crockery. Crikey! I sorta assumed that fragile stuff would be packed nicely but nope, it was packed exactly as we had put it into boxes and bags to make it easily moveable from our place to Nathan's parents. Plus they put a bag of books on top of Nathan's Akubra hat. It now looks like an elephant sat on it. Amazingly, everything seems to be in the requisite number of pieces, if occasionally a little flattened.

On a different note, DH is going to be away for the last week(days) of August. Anyone local want to help entertain me? I'm going to be here on my lonesome with only a bike as my means of conveying myself places. I hear there is an SnB on Monday evenings, a Lambspun thing on Tuesday evenings, anything else? Knitting and spinning for a week is very nice but I will get rather lonely.

Guess I should go unpack some Stuff but that means climbing up and down the stairs, and currently my thighs don't like the Stairs of Steepness. I am much better than I was but I am still pretty whacked from that gut bug. Maybe I should go buy some groceries instead, like chippies (oven fries) and chicken oven thingies now that our oven trays have arrived (yes, I put them in the cargo - we have some very good oven trays and cake tins so I figured they should come with us) and milk for DH and soyghourt for me! But that means effort too. However, the payoff is great int hat I get to eat nice stuff!

anon!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Still kicking

G'day all!

Feeling a bit better today. Not perfect mind but better.

I was having a think about why I crave certain things when I have a gut wobble. Potassium I reckon is the key. I want foods with potassium in them, so I want orange juice and chippies (preferably oven fries but crisps will do in a pinch). Now everything I've read says that I should not have anything fatty or sugary, yet what do I head straight for? Fatty or sugary. Interesting, isn't it.

So I thought I should show you a few of the things I've been up to recently in the way of knitting and spinning.

Washcloths. Three out of the five I've made (of the other two, one is in hard use in the bathroom, another is wandering in a pile of clean washing somewhere and will reappear when the moon is in the right sign, etc, etc). I am really enjoying making these. They are quick and easy and quite brainless. Don't ask me which pattern I am using - I just looked at some pics of other peoples' washcloths and made it up as I went along.


Socks. Socks in red and blue. Socks in red and blue for my footy team, even if they suck big time this year. I am glad they suck cos if they reached the Grand Final this year and won, I would cry. They've not won a Grand Final in all my *mumble* years on this planet.

Apparently my socks are fabulous and people would buy them if I put them into a local arts and crafts show at the end of the year. That is what a new friend (who wants to be our Colorado mum) says. I am sorta dubious. Comments/thoughts anyone?

Hand spun yarns. Lots of them.


Jacob.

Merino and merino silk blends. I thought it would look great, very spring like, if I combined the green/orange top with the green and the orange silk blend. Uh-uh.



So I chucked it in the microwave with some red food colouring and looky now!


Much happier with it. Very autumnal, not my colours but very nice nonetheless.

Wool/soy silk plied with corriedale, dyed with green and yellow food colouring.


Yarn from a domestic, fairly local fleece I was given by a friend. I call it the red pube fleece for obvious reasons:

It has long gingery hairs in it - presumably it is part Shetland or something. Anyway, they comb out ok in the main. Some parts of the fleece are quite soft, some are harsher. The discard bag is a lot bigger than the combings to use bag but hey it was free and I am not complaining! It is good to take a mucky fleece (it has big lumps of scurf in it too) and turn it into passable yarn.


Some of the orangey/pumpkiny tops I spun up for DH.


For whatever reason, I am stuck at making a sportweight yarn at present - most annoying. I could make socks except the tops are not superwash and whilst I am happy to handwash my own socks, DH just grabs his and chucks them in the machine. I don't want to find teensy tiny little christmas stockings coming out of the wash one day....

To break the sportweight problem, I spun up the brown and pink rovings I bought a couple of weeks ago. These are a chunkyweight single. Very softly spun. Noice!


Then after I thought I had finished with that lot of rovings, I discovered that I had a whole heap more in a bag hiding under the coffee table. Ooops!

So that brings you fairly up to date! I have not been knitting lots recently - been hot and busy. Spinning though seems to be fine in hot weather. Odd eh?

anon!