Showing posts from 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 …

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 detachab…

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…

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.


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…

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…

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 …

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? ;-)


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! …

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.

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
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…

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 thou…

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 truste…

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, o…

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 loc…


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 colour…

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 g…

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'…