Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A year and a day

G'day all!

This time last year, we were bemused and confused. Our grand trip across Canada had ended and we had just flown in to SJ airport.

We have been in California for a year and a day (it's a leap year). 366 days in California.

How has it been?

All over the shop like a madwoman's you-know-what!

You can read more about it on my other blog.

I have now lived in three different places in my life. By that I mean I've had an address for mail and stuff, a place where I live rather than stay for a little while. Those places are Melbourne (Oz), Fort Collins (Colo) and Campbell (Calif). In their own ways, each has been special. Fort Collins will be a place I'll always remember, and possibly the memories will be better because we didn't spend a winter there ;-)

In honour of this great occasion, I announce a contest!

In the comments, tell me two places you have lived (one place if you have always lived there!) and a place where you would love to live (and why you would love to live there). Contest closes 8 January 2009 at midnight PST.

The prize? Any skein of yarn under USD25 on my Etsy shop. (If the yarn comes as a pair of skeins, I call that one skein - enough for two socks. I wouldn't make others do what I like to have - singleton socks, though in my last post you will see all socks knitted this year had a mate of sorts in the same colourway! Also, the nuno-felted scarves are off the list of goodies to be won.)

I remembered I had not blogged a last minute giftie. Pray excuse the fuzzy pics - the camera just would not focus on it. I have one clear pic out of about 20 and that pic doesn't show much of the hat. LOL

I call it "Pike's Peak" for one of the highest mountains in Colorado.

It's sorta pointy off the head.

I knitted it from the top down using my turkish cast on and handspun yarn from a CVM/romeldale sheep called Lulu. If anyone is interested, I'll re-create the pattern. I can't looka t the original cos it should be in Colorado (I hope!). It is good for hats with an unknown amount of yarn - no getting 95% of the way up and running out of yarn! Nope, you get 95% the way down and run out of yarn.

I might not get all the finishing done on the shop baby jacket by tomorrow. I have half a sleeve to go yet then some i-cord for the closure (a tie). Plus we are going to get in the car and go driving Some Place Else for a few days, so I might not be around much.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year full of dreams and gentle realities.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

An ancient FO

G'day all!

I don't think I ever posted pics of my pinwheel sweater - I finally finished it in autumn of last year. It was mostly done before we left Oz but something needed to be fixed. I can remember knitting it whilst watching Dr Phil (and one or two eps of Oprah, but that was all of Oprah, honest! Dr Phil was more fun to watch).

Anyway, I finished it ages ago, it went to Rhinebeck and was commented on there but let's facwe it, whilst it is very me colours, it is not fashionably dark and sophisticated.

Do I care?

Do fish ride bicycles?

I *love* mermaid colours, and this jacket falls right in that definition. (OK I also love rainbow colours and aquamarine and ultramarine and magenta and royal purple and electric blue and cobalt blue and that wild violet colour, and pastel rainbows too!)

Here it is resting on some fallen leaves

A closeup of the pinwheel swirl. These are the most accurate colours - th rest are a bit overexposed on my monitor.

The join between body and detachable arm.

It is all knitted from my handspun. The outer 10cm of the pinwheel were fudged yarn - I ran out of the delightful hand-painted tops and had to substitute tops from my stash. One ply is light spring green/celadon green, the other varies. Some of the mauve areas have a little matching silk spun in. This was the first big batch of yarn I spun.

In other news, I am fighting off Nathan's cold - he's been dreadfully snotty and phlegmy. I do NOT want a cold! I want to go see the Leonardo exhibit tomorrow and then go for a nice drive down the coast and across to Yosemite (or vice versa). Being attached to a box of tissues and hankies is not in my plans!

I should have recent FOs to show off shortly. Or almost FOs. Hooray!

BTW, I've updated my Etsy shop. I've dropped prices on stuff and added more cos even if I am only getting back costs plus $4 an hour, I don't want all this yarn cluttering up the place! It is lovely yarn. It would make someone happy. It is most definitely tough times - two more yarn shops that I've been to are shutting shop, making a total of five since we moved here almost a year ago. (Commuknity, Creative Hands, Knitting Arts, umm one further up the Peninsula, and the Rug and Yarn Hut.)

PS. For locals, there's a sale on at Bobbin's Nest on the 30th and 31st. Don't buy my yarn and material before I get there!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas comes but once a year

G'day all!

Just as well Christmas comes but once a year, even if it brings good cheer, cos it is exhausting! Making stuff, buying stuff, getting things organised and sent before The Big Day... Oddly enough, two parcels that I sent appeared on time and the other two haven't, even though they all got sent at the same time from the same post office.

So do you want to see what I got?

No? Well go look at some other blog!!

Yes? Well hang around!

Over the last little while, I've been collecting a few bits and bobs. The Snowflake book is fascinating - having rarely experienced snow falls, I am fascinated by them. I know a lot of you in the States are experiencing them too much/often/amount but they are still a novelty for me. Knit One Below is an interesting book, lots of colour, lots of things to do with colour (as long as you knit one below). Can't wait to dive in!

Oh, I already have! (OK, I read the basics and decided to play before Christmas. Spank me!)

My lovely friend Dreamcatcher sent me an Amazon voucher, so I bought a couple of different books, things that I am getting more interested in. Thanks, ever so! I appreciate it :-)

One of Nathan's friends sent both Nathan *and* me presents! I really appreciate this book too!
It's a lush book. I've already grabbed a pattern from it and am frantically knitting it up with some handspun.

The PiLs sent across a little something to keep us going - reminders of home.

Look at the coasters (you'll need to click to get to the flickr page to embiggen them). Aren't they lovely? Some of my favourite Oz plants :-)

I thought I was done with presents but suddenly Nathan hoisted this at me:
An intriguing lumpy orange sack - does Santa like orange lycra these days? There's a little something sticking out one corner...

Oh boy oh boy oh boy! A whole pile of lovely mermaid coloured yarn! (Colour is off - I thought it was right but looks wrong on Flickr)

Pretty! Such me colours. I have NO IDEA how Nathan worked out the yarn I would like, NONE AT ALL! Ahem.

Well that about wraps up (boom boom!) the goodies situation. I hope Santa was good to you too! She* was mighty good to me.

(*Santa is very aware of what I like, so aware that I think Santa in this case has to be female... ;-)

Lunch was *fantastic* if I do say so myself.
Mmmm, kosher nightmare roast - pork *and* ham! Yum! Followed by hissy fit apple pie (plum pudding needs to be made will in advance and also it doesn't agree with me so well these days, so I dug out some gf pastry recipes and screwed it up = pastry all over the kitchen when it stuck to the silicon paper and Would Not Come Off!).

Now I'm off to knit frantically on a giftee and the shop sample for the month. Oh and the kitchen clean up. Work never ends!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

O! Christmas skein winder

G'day all!

I bet your Christmas tree can't do this!

On second thoughts maybe you don't want yours to spin - it might end up looking like this!

Back soon with tales of goodies and feasting and a walk.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hooray! Done!

Happy Christmas Eve!

Mine now is - the most recent husbandly socks are DONE! With over an hour to spare before it is Christmas here in California. No they aren't washed and blocked - I ain't a miracle worker!

Pics will have to wait.

Admittedly my Christmas knitting burden consisted of one hat and a pair of socks but I did give up on getting a heap of kitty cats done for various newly sprung sprogs and a couple as unyet unsprogged. Oh and a new baby outfit, and the commissioned cardi, and a baby cardi for the shop... Guess I can get cracking on that baby shop cardi again, along with a couple of UFOs that have been lurking for a while. And update my etsy shop with all the yarn I dyed two or three weeks ago and have not sold. I have realllly bad timing for selling yarn. At least I'll be able catch up a bit now and show off some interesting stuff, like how some of my hand dyed yarns knit up - I've done a sample foot of a sock with various of the yarns where I had a LOT, or one that had a couple of massive knots/faults that i had to remove.

Hope you have/had a wonderful Christmas!


Merry Christmas 2008

G'day all!


Merry Christmas/insert holiday of choice here! I do Christmas cos I was brought up in a nominally Protestant (C of E) family. I did Sunday School at the local Methos church. That church later became a Uniting Church. Anyway the Jesus stuff rubbed off but the God stuff didn't. I'm told that makes me a humanist though I don't really agree with what that wikipedia page says. There's too much focus on humans and rational thought. You may have noticed I am not always one for rational thought ;-)


This is a strange Christmas for us - there's just us! Possibly just as well cos DH has the Dreaded Lurgy. I hope I don't come down with it too - I have to get Christmas lunch done before I keel over too!


I hope you like our Christmas decorations. I like glass birds so I collected a few of those. There is also a feather clad cardinal but it is hiding behind a plant. Nathan told his parents all about our Christmas "mushroom" aka tree, how the baubles were handpainted in China probably by child slave labour. Like give me the guilts! Only even if I bought expensivos baubles they still most likely are made in China by little kiddies. Anyway, I am rather proud of my tree! I think it is pretty :-)

Wishing you and yours a safe and very Merry Christmas/etc


PS - great lolcat. Reminds me of our sweet Nutmeg.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Icarus flies!

G'day all

On Friday I finally finished Icarus! I started waaay back in umm 2006 in about September or so. It was lovely but I hadn't quite grokked charts and some weird counting problem had me put it down. Then the Christmas rush hit and we moved and yadda yadda yadda.

Yesterday I blocked my little Icarus (3 fewer repeats of the ladder pattern cos I was worried about having enough yarn - HA! I used a little over 50% of the yarns I had!)


I chose a road less travelled and used two colours. I didn't have enough of any one colour to complete it so I did the lacy part in plain blue.

(not quite colour accurate - the blue is a cornflower blue)

(the obligatory draped on the broccoli pic, again not accurate colour - too intense)


I chose to bead every second point with these weird rectangular things - the other points just got some little seed beads.


I am very pleased with it - it was my first real lace project. It has taken long enough to complete! The yarn is from Marta's Yarn (now the Thread Room) in Melbourne, Oz.

Now I have to make a decision about mystery stole 4. It just is not doing it for me. Dunno if it is the yarn (my own charcoal merino handspun) or the pattern or what but I am thinking I'll frog it and use the yarn for something else. Like a small hemlock - I have about 900m of fingering to sportweight yarn...


2008 Finished Objects

G'day all!

What a big year of knitting it has been here at the Modest Manor v umpteen. Not that I have ended up with much to keep for myself, mind you...

Shop items

Baby wrap cardi - still in progress - can I squeak this one under the wire?

Nashua cabled cardi

Kira K tank - no link, no pics. Oops, never blogged this one but it really does exist!

Therapi wrap

Nashua cables n lace


Black Purl cardi


(Some of my new socks)

Christmas 2008 DH
Kroy socks
Fruit Tingles socks
Sockamas DH
Strawberry socks
Maizy socks
Queen of Cups
Spring socks

(Some more of my socks)

Solstice Slip
Maned socks
Tiger socks DH
Pretty Posh
Lenore (cheaty - finished this year)
Rainbow socks(cotton blend, unlabelled yarn from Romni Wool)
Husbandly Val 2008 socks

(all of Nathan's new socks)

Plus at least one more unpair - one has a mane, one doesn't. I think they are pair five in the pic and can also be seen as the bottom pair in the second pic of my socks. Who needs pairs of socks anyway? ;-)

Here's all the socks I started and finished this year, less the Kroy socks and Reticula. I have no idea how I forgot to pull them out for the photo shoot but that makes SIXTEEN pairs of socks! And I am wearing all of mine a lot! (except my lenores have gone walkabout - mebbe should check the Rhinebeck luggage as I may have worn them then...)



EZ ribwarmer (gone to a new home in Colorado - I figured my friend Myrtle had greater need than me plus her sheep Lulu provided the fleece and she rarely gets to see any yarn or FOs.)
Red tank
Pink camo tank
Wicked bolero
Drops top
Jedi jacket


Rhinebeck hat
Mystery Stole 3
Crocheted bag

I don't have good pics of two sets of cowls and fingerless mitts, a neckscarf and handwarmers, a pair of handwarmers, plus two wraps that I have not shown off in case I submit the pattern to an online mag - two handspun wraps, one processed from fleece to yarn by me for an allergic to dye sister. Also a Christmas stocking for a friend's kid. A number of little bags including the bag that was meant to be big but SWS felts *really* well... Probably a few other items I've forgotten, like the unblogged hand spun ribby hat that went with Myrtle's parcel - hope it fits her husband Tony!

Oh crap - forgot the baby singlet and pants (forgot to blog them) for Purplexity's baby, and finishing two shawls that were UFOs, but the latter don't really count cos they were not cast on this year...

Heck, can you tell I don't have a job? My fingers are starting to let me know that I should not knit as much - I am starting to get joint issues, boo hiss! I've made at least 53 knitted items/pairs this year and finished off other stuff. Holy guacamole!

I expect to blog once more this year but if I don't, I wish you all a safe and happy New Year with lots of yarn and fabulous projects that work just right :-)


slow parcel

G'day all!

The other day I used an Amazon gift certificate. I got a nice little message the next day saying my order has shipped.

Usually they come UPS but obviously it was cheaper to send it USPS. Also I used the free super saver shipping.

Since we moved to here, anything we've ordered from Amazon has taken TWO days to arrive. Y'see there is an Amazon warehouse in Richmond, which is I guess about 60-70 miles north. Two days is a long time for something to travel that far, at least in this day and age but I ain't paying for an upgrade! And I've been happily suprised when the parcels show up quickly. Indeed, I've gotten used to it. And there's the rub.

So instead of UPS, my order is coming USPS. Here's its progress to date:

December 22, 2008 08:43:00 AM RICHMOND CA Arrival Scan
December 18, 2008 03:05:00 AM RICHMOND CA Shipment has left seller facility and is in transit

It took FOUR whole days to get from the warehouse to the USPS sorting centre! Now I know that this is a very busy time of year but there are four whole days in between it being signed out of one place and being signed in to another. I know I have unrealistic expectation but I thought parcels with tracking were scanned upon arrival, and where the heck has that parcel been? Walking from one part of Richmond to the next? Doing a tour of Berkeley?

I have a pretty to show once I get good pics of it. It is one of my oldest UFOs. Hooray!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Tangle

G'day all!

The other day I did some fibre-reactive dyeing. It is for cotton and other cellulose fibres like bamboo. I dyed up a t-shirt and decided to play with a ball of a new sock yarn, Kertzer On Your Toes. It is 75% bamboo, 25% nylon so the fibre-reactive dyes should work.

The only problem with this sort of dyeing is that you are supposed to machine wash the item in hot water. Being a clueless noob to this, I chucked the rinsed yarn in a lingerie bag and threw it in. A ball, not a skein with many many ties.

Well it came out looking like this:
A very pretty mess.

I've found there are two types of people in the world when they see tangled yarn.

  1. Those who throw their hands to the sky and exclaim "Woe is me*, my yarn is a tangled mess and I must throw it out!" and
  2. Those who see a tangled skein and They MUST Untangle It!

*Or words to that effect, probably words that involved a lot of cussing.

I've taken tangled yarn into my LYS and practically been knocked over by women who want to untangle it. They get very disappointed when I defend it vigorously - mine, MINE! Get your mucky paws off it! My yarn to untangle! And their fingers twitch as they watch me untangle the yarn and they sneakily fondle a far-flung strand....

It seems I am the second type of person.

See? A nice handwound being tamed ball of yarn from the tangled skein. Now to find time to knit it!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Almost there

G'day all!

I almost have an FO to show you! I've been working on it on and off for over two years, and finally!

Of course I was rather peeved to discover that I had a third of the yarn left = it could've been a third larger but oh well, such is life, que sera sera, etc etc.

But I don't have pics cos I cast it off at nearly midnight last night and have not yet blocked it - I prefer to sleep in my bed rather than block something overnight....

So what could it be?

I'll leave you to guess!

Christmas stuff is coming along. Did I rant about the auntly bag? The one that gave me nightmares that it was going to eat me alive cos it was sooooo big before I felted it? Haven't got pics of that either. It has been a mostly very dull week, both literally and figuratively - the Christmas presents and cards are all sent off, which took some time and I still have to put away the cards that are scattered everywhere. I discovered that family didn't get some of the cards I thought I had put in their envelopes, of course two days after I sent the stuff and until the cards arrive I don't know who missed out what, I've been avoiding Nathan's Christmas socks but should pull my finger out cos they are his Christmas present....

We don't have a Christmas tree, sniffle, cos I don't want to spend the money on it and the decorations. Instead we have a Christmas vertical blind, with glass birds (and one fake cardinal) clipped to it and a string of LED Christmas lights. The LED lights are boring - no interesting flashing and fading things, just on all the time. Very dull! We want epilepsy inducing flashing! We want slow fades from one colour to the next! We want twinkling lights that remind us of a low fire.

I am still ranty about the Oz Govt's lack of climate change initiative. All my hopes are now pinned on Obama (PEBO - when I say that, I say Pee Bow, which is phonetically the same as a brand of fly spray in Oz - hit 'em high, hit 'em low, hit 'em with the old Pee Bow (don't ask me to spell it, never used it, just remember the jingle)). I hope he has strong shoulders cos he is carrying half the world's expectations and hopes for the future.

Pics next time! And pics will soon be on Victorian, on the move of a recent unusual phenomenon.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I have to say this

The leaders of the Australian Government are GOOBER HEADS! So are the leaders of Victoria (my home state).

Man, they have so dropped the ball on climate change. 5% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020! Like how ridiculous! Taking away the subsidy for people who are installing solar panels (PV) on their roof. GIVING coal fired powerstations and heavy users of the same carbon credits! Saying one thing (renewable energy is very important to Australia's future) and happily dancing down the coal-strewn path to ruin. What is more important? Making money hand over fist now or having an environment that will provide a support system not just for people but the rest of the biota in a hundred years? (People could well survive as long as they have technology to help them out.)

(ETA Compare these two newspaper articles - one says the subsidy will end soon, a later one says the rebate will no longer be means tested... who know what the govt is up to! As for Peter Garrett, well we trusted him cos he used to be the lead singer of Midnight Oil, a pub band made big with their political savvy and progressive views.)

Then my state government is building a reverse osmosis desalination plant that is going to use heaps of power, cos reverse osmosis is greedy, and wants to pump billions of litres of water from an already stressed and dying river system over the Great Divide to Melbourne (also very power hungry) when we have lovely water leaving our treatment plants that could be used as is (non-potable) on gardens etc or treated further for drinking, we have storm water rushing out to the local bay that could be treated and used, we could have water tanks on every house for watering the garden, doing the washing (front loaders use less water), flushing the loo. We don't need to treat sea water, we don't need to pump water from where it is more needed, we certainly do not need to invest in another coal-fired power station to feed these energy intensive strategies.

But no, we have to keep spewing CO2 out cos our governments have no balls and are in love with big coal-fired industry. They cannot see any other way, despite the clamour of the people who elected them thinking they Understood.

Don't get me started on public transport either...

Nothing is more important than the environment we live in and depend on. Nothing. Not money. Certainly not big business. We could change the way we make energy, we could use less, we could keep jobs, just change the source of energy but our leaders do not have the political will. They certainly are not listening to the people they represent. We could make a difference but instead we will make it worse.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Move along, move along

G'day all!

Not much happening here! I don't think I knitted a stitch after breakfast yesterday (and frogged what I was trying to make).

It is the Grand Panic Before Christmas time. I have a number of parcels to send off before I can sit down and rest and knit. I've been printing out photos for the family, writing up cards, working out what to send people... I have a folder full of pics from various of our travels to turn into stories, or at least label some, though the program I thought I would use is poxy and I don't like it.

I spent the weekend knitting up a bag in (Canadian) Patons' SWS. I've been told it felts well. I hoped to send the bag off before Christmas.

I'd show you the before and after pics but I forgot to take a before pic and it is too early to get good light at our apartment for the after pic.

Can we just say that SWS fulls very well indeed... The bag was over 40cm (16") in each direction. It took all of my knitting time, and more, on the weekend to knit. Not including the handles, it is now 20cm across at the widest point and 20cm deep (8" x 8") with a taper to the handles.

It shrank easily 50% when fulled! Argh! I wanted to make a bag for a woman who likes to carry a bit of stuff with her, but now I have a slim bag for a lady who carries hardly anything! It still looks pretty cute but it is not what I wanted to make. That will teach me to just chuck it in a pillow case and into the washing machine and let our vicious machine do its worst!

And I bought lining material and everything (eg bias tape, thread and a zipper). Guess it won't need so much lining!

In breaking news, Nathan's thesis is being submitted! HOORAY! It has been nearly 9 years in the making and needs special permission to be submitted cos it is a little late (by about four years). His supervisor said it is a first rate thesis that reflects considerable knowledge of the area studied. Guess who got the dedication? :-)

In other breaking news,
Which creature of the night are you?
Your Result: Cthulu Spawn

You are really an alien thing, aren't you? I can't describe you because you are beyond. We say "left field" and you say "Krn Grth Thchrang." You are the wild card of the bunch, the unknown quantity

Which creature of the night are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Yay me! I always wanted to be Cthulhu spawn*. Having flaming eyes would be pretty funky, though I guess I wouldn't have much in the way of eyelashes, eyebrows or a fringe if they were real flames... I've danced with one of the Elder Gods at his son's wedding**.

I guess I'd better get back to writing simple web pages for these pictures to be displayed in in some sort of context. I could just burn CDs with the pics on them but it is much nicer when you know what the hell the pics mean and where they are. Otherwise they are just gibberish.


* Well mebbe not...
** What else do you call the parents of someone who has God in their surname?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

new neighbour and an FO

G'day all!

It is brrrr! Chilly here today, trying to rain, not very successfully mind...

We have a new neighbour. Dangit. He likes his subwoofer. Our place is vibrating even after he's turned it down a bit. We have another umm how many months of lease to go? It wouldn't be such an issue if the walls were not vibrating, and he didn't start at 7:15 on a Sunday morning....

We are going to have to play music to help override the vibrations. And we've been thinking about making wall hangings, well now we have more impetus! 8-)

Last night we went to a performance by the Bay Choral Guild. We found out about it from a friend who is a member. They sang a rang of carols from Eastern Europe. The carols were lovely, even if I did not understand a word of the songs (except for hallelujah). To show you how juvenile I am, I tittered inwardly when I found out God in Russian is Bog. (Bog in Australian slang, like Brit slang, means toilet.) The performance was held at a local methodist church. Nathan liked the church so much he went along to a service this morning! It has a very grand organ and only one organist. (DH rubs hands together.) He said I should go along next week (though I am not a God person).

So the other day I handed over the commissioned cardi. It turned out very nicely indeed:

(It's lacking the button cos I had yet to meet with its commissioner to chose a button.)

I think I need one for me! But in me colours.

(Excuse the blurry oic and my saggy baggy trakky dax)

It is Emily A53 by Black Purl Designs. It has nice touches, like all the shaping is done three stitches from the edge so you get nice seam shaping.


I must say that learning how to mattress stitch seams has been a godsend for my finishing. Seams look so much better!

Finally, if you have not seen kitteh likes his nom nom broccoli, go here. He really seems to be eating it and is very cranky about sharing!

Plus this lol-bluebird of "happiness." Oh my word!

This knitted jacket looks pretty funky. I guess it will go onto my ever increasing Ravelry queue.

Hokey dokey, that's me done for the mo.


Thursday, December 11, 2008


G'day all!

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to dye up some more sock yarn in my favourite colourway - lurid/all of them. I carefully set it all up so's it would self-stripe. I carefully dyed them up - oh so pretty! But a couple of places, hhmmm, so back to the dyepot.

Boy, did I get a surprise!

Y'see when you want to overdye some spots that didn't come out the expected colour and you put the pretty/bright yarn in the rest of the dyepot, you should always check what colour the dyepot water is...

I had green with a little brown in it in the dyepot water but not in the canning jars that had some more bluish dye.

So instead of brights, I got a jungle!

(It's a little blue in that shot - wonder why I didn't corrrect it?)

The colour is shown better in the closeup:
($22, 75% wool, 25% nylon, machine washable)

Then the ($25) 80% merino, 20% bamboo machine washable yarn also had the same treatment, plus it had a stripe of black:

(again a little blue)

You can see a heap of colours in the closeup :-) Just ones that tend towards greens and browns.

After that lesson, I've been somewhat more careful!

I took a tumble with some black self-striped with blue/lavender/mauve

($22. Some subtle colour blending there! 75% wool, 25% nylon, machine washable, Kroy)

A cyclone blew in with tropical blues, turquioses, a tad of mauve and some stormy water:

($22. 75% wool, 25% nylon, machine washable, Kroy)

A sleek black and orange tiger came out of the pot:

($22. His orange is on the lighter side, like the front of the pic, again 75% wool, 25% nylon, machine washable, Kroy)

Are you tired of looking at yarn yet? Well I only have some hints o some yet to be skeined up and photographed...

Storm's a comin - different to cyclone.

Brurquoise - turquoise and brown - the blue is greener, very hard to get without making the brown green too,


a paler version of the Italian flag, aka Spring Blooming:
(the shiny yarn is a 50:50 wool:tencel blend I think - it is for ME! The other is Kroy)

If you are interested in any of the yarn, let me know. Each lot pictured is enough for a lady's pair of socks and will prolly make it to a man's size 10. I think there's more yardage in the bamboo blend. They go up on Etsy next week.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A whining list

G'day all!

In an unusual turn for me, I feel the urge to make a list. I don't like lists cos then they control me and I am obviously happier being a free-range knitter.

But really I have to control the burgeoning WIPs and WIPs-to-be.

If I type something nonsensical, please excuse me - my brain and my fingers are not cooperating this late...

  • finish the baby pants and the singlet for A2's baby
  • finish Nathan's Christmas socks
  • start the shop sample for this month
  • make at least four little birds to send to various families with new(ish) babies
  • knit the rest of a bag for an AiL who turned 50 this year
  • finish Icarus
  • finish the scribble wrap
  • finish a curtain so's we can hang it in the window (but not so's DH can clock himself again)
  • knit another pair of socks for me
  • knit up some extra dyed yarn to show how some of the dyed stuff looks knitted up
  • dye up some yarn and knit DH a sweater

That is just the knitting. I also have to do the Christmas cards yet, printing pics to go with the cards, edit the gazillions of photos I have for the next lot of dyed yarns, possibly make a wyrm for someone who's been a good buddy to Nathan (actually I should be making half a dozen in that case...) - the list goes on and on!

Why am I whining? Heck it isn't as if I have to work as well... It's just I want to knit something for ME! I want a nice new sweater. I want it to be more like a tunic so it covers my butt when I ride my bike on these chilly winter days- no gap betwixt pants and top. It also has to come up fairly high at the front cos gosh the girls get chilly when I have an open jacket on! Plain or cabled would be cute. A hood is great. So if you have any suggestions, let me know! :-)

Soon I'll show off the commissioned cardi, minus the button, plus the recent dyeing efforts.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Knittin an readin

G'day all!

For the knitters, here's the cardi I finished in November for the local yarn shop. Apologies in advance for the wonky pics - I was trying to hold it in good light in the shop.


It's knitted in Nashua Ecologie Nature Wool, supposedly all natural dyes. I'd dig up the details of the pattern book but I am lazy.


It is knitted in two pieces - L sleeve, L front and back: R sleeve, R front and back and then grafted up the middle of the back. I think I did a lovely job :-)


It was a pretty easy knit and took much longer than it should've, due to Rhinebeck getting in the way with my selfish desire to make stuff for ME to wear at it! I was a little peeved that immediately after finishing that, I had a commission to make something in a very similar colourway (FO shots shortly, as long as you don't mind the button is missing). The commissioned cardi goes to its new home tomorrow, YAY! Then apart from some little birdies out of an organic cotton I have, I don't have to knit with beige colours for a while! HOO-BLASTED-RAY!

I've been devouring books recently. Absolutely chewing through them. For ages I've been reading MC Beaton's Agatha Raisin series but I've run out of them at the local library and need to request the ones I have not read (the hard part being remembering which I have read). Since I ran out of Agathas, I started on her Hamish McBeth series instead. DH can't credit that I did not watch Hamish on the telly. But I didn't!

For some reason, I am now interested in reading things that are a little heavier. I read half of Farewell My Subaru before it had to be returned today. It is about one man's decision to go live life on the land and live a little lighter on the planet. He moved to New Mexico just as floods hit. Gotta have timing! It is amusing and a bit fluffy still, but he certainly learned a lot.

Where the Wild Things Were is the hit book of the year for me. It looks into the killing of top level predators in the USA and shows the effects it has had on the environment. It is a *great* read - there is humour and he uses interesting turns of phrase but gee the message is serious. Basically without top level predators (bears, mountain lions, wolves, heck even sea stars!), the ecology of the US is screwed. Everything is being eaten to death by deer. It has had big problems ever since the extinction of the megafauna about 13,000 years ago and white man has made it lots worse. It really made me think about how everything is interconnected and the checks and balances on life. Then I wondered about Oz - the biggest land animal we have now is the red kangaroo (unless you count salt water crocodiles but they really need water to live and roos only need to drink a little not live in it). I guess marsupial lions ate them before Aborigines and dingos arrived in Oz. What predated on the Australian fauna that exists now after the megafauna died out? Did the marsupial lion eat roos? I might have to go digging. I'm into ecology stuff and it is very different here to what it is like at home, even though the climate is not that different. The animals are different (but not the birds, oddly enough).

I even read a David Sedaris book, cos that is what White People Like. I had to find out if it was something I would like. I blush to admit I found it amusing.

The Best Science writing of 2004 is a very uneven book, imo. Some of the writing is fan-tastic! Some of it is umm, well, average. Not exciting or interesting or at all "best". I guess some people have the gift of the gab (keyboard) and others don't. Or other people find different things and different ways of writing more interesting than I do.

I've even been reading books about being introverted. I never realised there was any problem with being introverted but now I can see it is one of the reasons why my last proper job fell apart the way it did - I had had a number of introverted bosses and then got an extravert. We just did not speak the same language even though we both spoke English.

Then there are the science mags. I'm reading my way back through SciAm and various "lighter" science mags. Wish they had New Scientist in the local library. Guess I could request it....

And don't get me started on the craft books. Oh boy, a never ending series of books going through the place. Sometimes I return them only to borrow them again three days later (I figure I've given other people a chance!).

Well lovely as it is to blather at you, some of us have dishes to do. See you