Friday, February 29, 2008

Argh! No! There is STILL MORE!

G'day all!

I hope that this really is the last Stitches stash post. I forgot to write this one up offline.

Lisa Souza's dyeing. Purdy! Sock yarn and Blue Faced Leicester fibre to
spin up. Yum!


Stitches Stash, the nth degree

G'day all!

I hope this is the last in our little series of flaunting my new stash. I feel a tad embarrassed but I have a LOT less than some of the ladies I saw walking out the door (though they mostly said that they only had the opportunity to do this sort of shopping once a year at Stitches...).

The first shop I raced to when I got in the door was Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I expected to find that an hour after opening that it was almost denuded, with rabid women fighting over the remains.

Boy was I in for a surprise! OK the queue was 10 long but it was not the all-in brawl I had expected to find. I managed to navigate the store quite easily.

My aim was the Raven series, of course! I found one skein of Rook-y which I originally intended to send to a friend Back 'Ome but I could not let the yarn go.

Rook-y is a rainbow of colours under the black and you all know how much I love rainbow colours. The close-up shot is not the best but it gives some idea of the subtlty.

Then there is this Rare Gem:

I so have to play with overdyeing colours with black.

And Jewel of the Nile - of course I grabbed a lurid colourway!

And some Sheep to Shoe in Corbie:

(a little blurry)

The camera made the top in particular look much lighter and somewhat brighter than it is, but all in all considering I was photographing wool that is basically black in full sunshine, I was very pleased with how the shots turned out. Admittedly I did take them on an exposure setting of -2 but black is a mongrel to photograph and our camera was close to the cheapest one I could buy in Melbourne 15 months ago.

Oh, and after I snatched the "last" skein of Rook-y on Friday?

On Sunday there were about 10 of them! And the stall looked hardly touched despite the huge amounts of yarn I know were bought on Friday. Looks like they have really ramped up their yarn production. And I didn't even buy any of the other yarns they have on offer - I'm happy with the sock yarn - theirs is so squishy and bouncy (as long as you don't mind pooling).

Hooray! I think that is the end of the Stitches wrap up - well more my flaunting my goodies. Remember my pretties Back 'Ome or in other places far far away, you have to ask if you want me to locate stuff for you. I am sure we can come to a suitable arrangement!

Stitches Stash, n+1

G'day all!

Ah the siren call of the sock yarn.

On Friday I had admired a lovely wussy colourway at Ellen's Halfpint Farm in a merino bamboo blend. I am particularly fond of of what I call lilypond colours - a blend of light spring green, mauve, baby blue and aqua.

On Sunday, on my second go-round (I have NO IDEA how people could put up with going three days in a row!) I saw that the yarn was still around. So it had an accident, well my credit card had another accident, and it came home with me.

MMmmmm, pretty, shiny!

I also saw this plait of wool and umm silk? Bamboo? I don't think it is bamboo fibre cos it appears to have dyed the same colour as the wool base. That sort of rules out tencel as well. The lady at the stall (Carolina Homespun) said if it was warm it was bamboo and cool if it was silk, or was it the other way around? Anyway it is prettier in the hank than it is in the pic. It came home with me too.


Stitches Stash, n

G'day all!

Y'know there is a problem with some indie dyers - they are so indie that they don't even have a label on their products. Silly persons! Without a label how do I remember who they were and how to get more?

This indie dyer won't be a problem - Fiber Fiend labels all her stuff with her name and store URL. Plus Snidknits tells me she is a local and a good friend of Cindy's.

This is some bamboo in such a lurid colourway it had to come home with me. She was very pleased with how the bamboo turned out - I have the feeling she was a little worried it might not take the dye or something. Ahem.

Here are the fibres that I will have trouble finding again. The lady seemed very quiet and unassuming, at least the one who dyed them, not her large and loud blonde Valkyrie friend who was very friendly and helpful and one helluva enabler ;-) And they didn't have labels on their stuff. I need labels cos the wool fumes in such a place completely overwhelm me.

Some wool (likely merino from the hand of it)

And in a different format

Two silk hankies, not that you can see both in the shot.

Can anyone tell why I liked these fibers? :-)


Stitches stash, n-1

G'day all!

One of the delightful things at Stitches West was that various designers were there. It was like "Wow, you are a Real Person!"

One stall was occupied by Cheryl Oberle, who wrote Folk Shawls and Folk Vests. She is based in Denver (CO). I had a lovely chat with her - apparently the winter has been very cold there this year (when I had online access I noticed that towns in the area were often around -18C, which is negative F).

I ended up buying this book from her

and she kindly signed it though you can't see the signature cos I blurred it out and cut off half of it.

I am not really that interested in making vests per se but I love some of the patterns in the knitting and figure I can filch them to make other things. As long as I don't sell my patterns on or give them to people, it should be fine, right?


Stitches Stash, part deux of many

G'day all!

Did you know that White Lies Designs does sock yarn?

I didn't either!

But they do! It is not a lightweight sock yarn, more a sportweight/five ply but it will make socks. And lookie at this luscious colourway. Mmmm, all for ME!

I have more on Joan's stuff in the next post.


Current project, waspie

G'day all!

Here is another of the projects I am working on at the moment.

See this full bag of Noro Cash Iroha in colourway 103 G? Cost me less than $60 at Stitches! There were a few stalls selling bags of yarn but this was the one that women were going nuts over. It was the place I expected Blue Moon Fiber Arts to be. There were about 50 women all grab-grab-grabbing and a couple of the shop assistants were standing in the middle of the yarn "corral" pulling bags of yarn out from underneath and throwing them on top and tossing bags of yarn to those who requested them. The queue to buy yarn blocked most of the aisle.

If you count the number of skeins carefully, you will realise that that is not a full bag. That is because of this:

Mmm, lurid Noro with some Fearless Fibers sockyarn held double as a contrast.

That is my "swatch." A swatch for a pattern that I can't even find a picture of online, not even on Ravelry. Looks like mine will be the first one, but it will have to wait until I have home online access - dragging the laptop and the book up here is Too Much Bother. Anyway, just as well it is a swatch and not a sleeve cos I realised that I made an awful error reading the two row chart. Yep, it showed the faggotting type pattern with four stitches either side, so I faithfully did four stitches either side, not the four stitches, then the pattern then the four stitches then the pattern that the design requires. Ah well, at least I was pretty spot on for stitch gauge if not row gauge even after washing the swatch and hanging it out like advised.

Oh, one of the designers at Stitches was Joan McGowan -Michael. She designed the pattern I am making. She is a local! I love her stuff - so girlie! I like being girlie sometimes though I don't get much chance as I am a) usually a slob and b) have to ride my men's style pushbike places so skirts are out of the question, or even nice clothes cos they will get sweaty. Joan is a very nice, helpful lady cos on the Sunday I blathered at her about some of the patterns and the Cash Iroha I had bought. I felt like an utter fan boy but it was nice to see a human being instead of a posh doll. I also got to see the original models of various of the items in her book, Knitting Lingerie Style. (I see she has a great special on the book too.) Seeing the originals was interesting, including how they are made! Gosh those girls that model stuff are little! Which is sorta odd given that Joan designs for bigger girls usually.

Whilst I am on the subject of the designers, I also got to see Jordana Paige (who does fab knitting bags one of which I might get one day when I am rich), Cheryl Oberle (more on her elsewhere), Lisa Souza (who was older than I expected and sorta similar to me only with more gravitas).... None of them were anything other than people, albeit people who have a calling and are very good at what they do. I missed out on seeing Nancy Bush or others of the knitting luminaries.

Anyway, my third current project now has proceeded past this stage:

a) the "swatch" has been ripped back so I can start it again
b) the back is now about 8cm long. It would be further along but it isn't my absolute current obsession (see Jedi Jacket).

I expect to have it finished before the end of March. Heck, that is only a month away!


But wait, there's more!

G'day all!

The Stitches stash pics will continue shortly. LOL. Of course this post will appear under them, but I thought I should say Happy Leap Year! It isn't often we get to see Feb 29th, so I thought I should make the occasion. (You don't wanna know what sort of mark though ;-)

I am currently setting up internet access with AT&T. I know 10 years ago we would've run screaming from AT&T but compared to Comcast they are easy peasy to deal with. Maybe they've lifted their game somewhat. I hope I don't have occasion to eat my words.... So far it looks like we will be online next Wednesday, that is if I ever get through the three brazilian steps needed to complete the order.

FREAKY! The windoze box next to where I am sitting with the laptop just randomly started up! I didn't touch it yet it is running.

OK. 20 steps later, I think the order is going through! I have a confirmation number. Hooray! With any luck we will be online in less than a week and I will stop having to drag the laptop up to the business centre or into Nathan's work. Hooray!

Time to start posting some more stash stuff and maybe a little on Victorian, on the move. I've been writing it all up offline, hence the lack of checking to see if links work, or occasionally the complete lack of links :-)


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stitches SEX, part un of many

G'day all!

I never knew SEX hurt so bad!

On Friday I wandered around Stitches West for FIVE hours. Yep, five whole hours. And I bought an Unreasonable Amount of Yarn (UAY)(see below). When I hopped on the train for the trip to the mall to pick up some shampoo for Nathan (Body Shop ginger - the only thing that stops scalp flakes for him) and turned my head, I had one of those freezing moments when you wonder if you'll always have your head turned to one side.

Yep, I suffered SEX neck strain. Ouchies! My neck unspasmed relatively so I looked as normal as I ever do but the referred pain down my arm was halfway to unbearable. The only thing that sort of soothed it, thank heavens, was Our Favourite Hobby, aka knitting. I knitted like a demon on the way home (see Doing the Solstice Slip).

I still had to walk a mile from the train/tram too when I got back and my UAY was not exactly helping and it was trying to rain on me. The only time the arm stopped burning and hurting fiercely was when I knitted or moved it a lot, which says neuropathic pain to me. Interestingly, a pain killer taken at 12:30am (ie when I got up cos I couldn't sleep due to burning arm) knocked the pain fairly much on the head and just left me with honest to god real pain where I had strained muscles from dragging a couple of not-very-heavy bags around on one arm for hours and hours and hours.

So what was it that caused me such woe?

This (except for one skein which I bought on the Sunday)

and this

(except for one length of roving which I bought on the Sunday)

Plus a whole bag of Noro Cash Iroha :-) Details later!


Doing the Solstice Slip (current projects 2)

G'day all!

I have been starting to knit my way through last year's Sock That Rock club offerings (except for the last one, boo hiss which I lost cos I didn't email blue moon to say hold that parcel cos I didn't know I'd be getting one last parcel and I didn't have email for some time).

Pretty, eh? The Solstice Slip in Firebird (I think that is the colourway's name). I knitted the toe and most of the foot of the second sock in Sunday whilst waiting to meet up with the SnB crew and then whilst waiting for the tram and being on it (note to self - check the time table and don't turn up 5 minutes late when trams run every half hour...). Note that the toe of the sock that awaits the EZ cast off is folded in. There is a reason for that.

I should really learn to read the pattern better rather than hairing off doing my own thang. The second toe I did in garter stitch. It looks a little suspect:

But the one I did in stocking stitch, then read that I was supposed to use garter stitch and fudged it by turning the toe inside out, well, umm, yeah. Considering I was knitting this on the train/tram mostly, I had to tuck it into the sock itself...

It even has a meatus of sorts. (The delicate of stomach should not look) I am waiting for it to animate and start singing like that fabulous ?english? ad (I wish I had the net so I could check to find a link to it). LOL

Now it was not just me that thought it was a bit lewd - at least one of the SnB ladies looked and started giggling. It isn't just me, is it?


Current projects (one of many)

G'day all!

I have a number of projects on the boil at the moment.

Ages ago, at the Stitches and Craft Fair in Melbourne nearly 12 months ago (feels like a different life and I guess it was!) I saw a fabulous jacket, all garter stitch knitted up in Noro silk garden I think (I remember it having more silk garden type yarn than kureyon). It was asymmetric and made me think of Jedis. Well I Had To Have One For Me!

And I hunted down the book - I had to drive all over town cos the book was discontinued. And there was much rejoicing cos I had driven about 150km to find this danged book, and I got it for about 50c! Hooray!

Then I discovered I had already bought it three months earlier at a Christmas sale at my LYS.


I've remembered that jacket/wrap thing for some time and finally I had the yarn for it - a cashmere/wool blend from a thrift store jumper I unravelled. The yarn is all in greys but I can overdye it. I have some very nifty ideas about how to do that too.

(I doubt that I will pose like that, though I do have one decent pair of pants and a pair of ruby red high heels if need be)

Project details: Style Five from Zhivago book TB0001, Paton's Australia. Yarn - op shop recycle. Hope I have enough yarn!

Oh and that little dot of green? A stitch marker so I know where to put the second arm hole after I complete 33cm of garter stitch on 159 stitch rows. Heaven help me - why did I want to do so much garter stitch?

Here's a shot of the other fish marker ;-) I like this one - I have a "thing" for AB (aurora borealis) and oil slick colouring on glass. Pretty!


February SEX, not Stitches!

G'day all!

I've been trying to be good with the yarn purchases this month.

Here's some I bought from Yarn Dogs early in the month before I remembered Stitches was on soon:

Nifty, eh? Panda Silk, 52% bamboo, 43% superwash merino and 5% combed silk. Like the other panda yarns, and tofutsies, it is a very fine sock yarn. It has a lot of very fine plies and is quite shiny. Sooner or later I'll get around to knitting it but I have a LOT of projects on the boil at present and I want to finish them first.

Speaking of tofutsies, one of the independent dyers at Stitches (should be called Stashes cos boy there was a LOT of enabling going on!) had some of the base yarn dyed up in her colourways. The tofutsies yarn has chitin in it, which is the protein that arthropod (crabs, prawns, yabbies, etc) shells are made of. The sign over the yarn proudly advised that the yarn contains cretin. Ahem. Just a little different, y'know.

Since Someone forgot about Valentine's Day, he had to buy me a skein of sock yarn at A Common Thread, where they just so happened to have 10% off that day (and I didn't even know - we were just tooling around in a rental car looking at suburbs we hadn't been to yet).

That's a Panda sock blend (60% superwash merino, 30% bamboo, 10% nylon) from LuLu's Yarns in colourway Viola di Notte.

And in the interests of full disclosure, I was in Michael's and I bought one lonely ball of Cotton Ease to see what it is like. It *was* on special

For my non-American/Canadian friends, Michael's is a girlie hobby shop. It has mostly needlecrafts, flower arranging, scrapbooking, paper art, beads/jewellery, framing, painting and drawing supplies, that sort of stuff. Plus a little yarn. If you want boy toys, go look someplace else. Jo-ann's carries some hobby stuff but tends to focus more on fabric. It has a better range of yarn in my experience, not that better range is saying much! My Aussie mates will grok it when I say that Jo-ann's is like Scroatfight only smaller (!!!). Scroaties has a better range of wool yarns than any craft shop I've seen here. If you want acrylics and novelty yarns, Jo-ann's and Michael's are the place to go. So don't think it is all good here!


28 Feb

G'day all!

Today my father would've been 90. And my car, now looked after by Gibbering, turns 10. And one of my family members quit their job and today is their last day. Hooray! They are moving to Melbourne after spending more than half their life in the country, albeit in a large country town. And one of my good mates had a birthday yesterday.

But me? No significant stuff is happening today, I hope! Just for those around me. I already have an exciting enough life, what with finding my way around this place, doing the housework, knitting, spinning, gardening, what have you. LOL We've been here a month! How it has flown! And we *still* don't have an internet connection. I am going less insane than I expected but I have plenty to occupy me, like wrangling with the bank over my card - they tell you to ring a number to activate the card and then what happens? The card activation place tells you that they can't do it cos your name does not match that on the card. Only you have to ring them three times and have an argument in the car park - now everyone that was home will know what my card number is. And the card activation people are very unhelpful - they only activate cards. That is all they can do. A blasted voice recognition robot would be more helpful than they are. Plus how on earth can they tell it is you activating the card and not someone else? They only ask questions that anyone holding the card could answer (what is the number, what is the name on the card) - like DUH! And I still don't have the pin so it is fairly useless anyway.

I am posting a whole lotta stuff today, all little snippets and bits and bobs, so be warned!


Tuesday, February 26, 2008


G'day all!

Still not online unless I drag the laptop up to the business centre (= hassle, especially when it rains for five days in a row).

And alas the pics I was going to upload can't be uploaded cos we had a whoopsie with the domain name, which has expired (thoug if i had the IP address I could upload stuff to there). I have so manyt hings to show off - when we get decent access and I can upload pics, be warned!

Plus the pic I got at Stitches didn't come through to my email address so I can't put that up either even if we still did have a domain name....

So Stitches West 2008.

This was my first big knitty event outside of Oz, and really it was the very first BIG event I've been to. For Australians, imagine a stitches and craft size show (and for Melburnians imagine it in Jeff's Shed). Imagine that instead of about 5 places having yarn, only about 5 places don't have yarn. That is what Stitches West was like. LOTS of yarn! Lots of knitting stuff! Lots of pretties! I hit the Blue Moon shop first then hared off after Ravelry stuff. Despite entering heaps of contests I did not win a thing!

The timing for Stitches was great. It poured rain for most of the weekend - very unpleasant and a great time to be inside!

Did I buy yarn? Is the Pope a Catholic? Did I buy stuff to spin? Do fish swim?

Alas, no pics yet.

Hopefully we will soon be online properly. Nathan's work will pay for the internet connection but we have to organise it. I am feeling a bit isolated - just as well I am a natural hermit cos if I was an extravert I would've gone completely nuts rather than just a bit more crazy than normal.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stitches West in sight

G'day all!

Stitches West is only a few days away. It is a loooong light rail ride away from me - will take about an hour to get there but in the scheme of things (as measured by Pacific Oceans) it is very close indeed. So Excited! If any of you out there want me to check out anything in particular, let me know. I'm not flush with cash at the moment* cos we are still in the moving in and acquiring Stuff stage but I'm happy to obtain samples of stuff for any who wants. Stitches West is pretty big - there's going to be quite a number of vendors there it seems. I have to get onto the ravelry group too and look up stuff there.

Still don't have what I call good email/internet access - have to use either the business centre here (one computer crashes when I run IE and access Yahoo! - not a good sign....) or go to Nathan's work for anything that needs to be more secure. I don't trust windoze boxes as far as I can spit (which is a heck of a lot less distance than how far I can throw a computer, especially if I am annoyed with the computer at the time). Can't load pics either unless I remember to load them on the laptop and drag that to Nathan's work. It almost makes me wish we still had these things call floppy drives, but alas most files now won't even fit on one of them.

I am still knitting and spinning, of course. One secret project is finished and given to Nathan for Valentine's Day (don't mention the war to him - after nothing for my birthday, Christmas or valentine's Day he's been thoroughly chewed on). Another secret project has not been finished and is being redone at present. A third secret project got 80% finished then I realised I had been a doofus and had not mirror imaged it, so half of it got frogged. It is well underway again now.

So things are still happening, just not online. Not having internet access is like losing a best friend. My main source of "company" during the day has disappeared. I can't email people when I remember stuff, which means I forget to email them when I do have access. Checking out blogs isn't happening cos I don't have much time online and when I have three gazillion emails to check out and a slow browser reader to check them out with... Given that it is now 5:20 and I have to be out of here at six and only have 250 emails to look through, I had best get a wriggle on!

Oh, for those wondering, I've met up with some local knitters/crocheters at the very local (ie walkable) SnB meeting. Hooray! More on that later.


* Ah, last night Nathan went to get cash out. He discovered that the threatened cancellation of his old card had happened. No cash. He has the new card but hadn't realised that the date of cancellation was here and hadn't activated the new card. His card was cancelled cos our credit union thought there had been suspicious activity on it (probably us getting cash out in Canada, truth be told). So we had five dollars on us to get home and get Nathan back to work again. BUT I have a card too! So I tried to get money out. Dangit! My card was cancelled too, but they didn't send me a card! Or a PIN. Nope, they just cancelled mine.
Turns out that my snail mail address is different to Nathan's, even though we have the same account number and I am not really a person here in the USA, just a body that exists without existing. I am not allowed a social security number = I do not exist. I think you know the problems that makes, or at least Americans should since your SSN is *everything*. Nathan updated *his* address thinking he updated both our addresses - after all wouldn't you think that the address for a primary card holder would be the same as a secondary card holder? Especially when the secondary card holder is not eligible to open a bank account (no SSN). But the credit union believes I am a separate entity, which is both good and bad, and left me in Fort Collins. Along with the new card and pin. Sigh. My third new card in as many months is on its way to me...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Save me!

Help me, Obiwan Kenobi! You're my only hope!

G'day all!

I am in Nathan's office. He left for arvo tea over 90 minutes ago. I am not supposed to wander the building unescorted - heck I am probably not to be left in the office alone.

I hope he comes back soon - I need to go toodleloo. Plus I need another drink cos he has two whopping big heaters, oops *computers* in here (plus a small computer and our laptop) and they make it really warm - who needs central heating?

I also have over 300 emails to read or delete at my "leisure." If you haven't heard from me, please excuse me as yahoo is not the quickest way to read email.... and I am only getting to my email every couple of days.

I have been knitting and sewing. When we have our own access, I shall show pictures! Plus I've got a cold though I am getting better, I think.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

offline for a while

G'day all!

Our freebie internet access has dried up, so I can only get online briefly and with some degree of effort greater than walking to the computer (ie walking to the business centre at our apartments, but only during office hours, or visiting Nathan at work, which is some greater degree of hassle). We are trying to organise our own DSL but *They* need to find out if we are close enough to the exchange to get DSL. Considering how far we are from the front of the block of apartments, I reckon we will be a fair whack from the exchange.

So if you don't hear from me for the nonce, you will know why! Missing you already (after only two days offline!).

I should have a nice little pile of posts lined up by the time we get some online access... Pray that we don't end up with dial-up only cos that will kill us! We are in the heart of Silicon Valley, for Pete's sake!


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Linkmania time!

G'day all!

I have LOTS of projects happening at the moment. There are two secret projects (one of which is not knitting!), I'm working on our "garden" such as it isn't (ivy and petty spurge infested), I have a jacket to finish knitting from last year - I nearly had it finished and then I realised that it was somewhat shorter than I wanted it to be (ie scraping my hip when I wanted it to be butt length) - still tidying up the place and finding places for everything, I bought some old tshirts at the Salvos yesterday to cut up into strips to make into rag rugs (prolly crocheted and can I just say that the local Salvos op/thrift shop is a flashback to the bad old days of op shops)....

So due to overwhelming projectitis, I give you


Not only do echidnas hibernate but they use latrines!

Never thought of this one - smoking a joint is much more dangerous than smoking a cigarette! And it rots your gums (and I ain't talking trees or chewy here either). Makes me rather glad that I haven't indulged....

It seems that "cavemen" wore boots. They made us into the lily-livered, soft-footed things that we are today.

Times, they are a-changin', or at least the astronomical unit, the AU, looks like it will.

It seems that sexual selection has driven the differences in appearance between humans. I also remember reading somewhere that blond hair is between 6,000-10,000 years old. Why would it be an advantage? a) blonde women's hair darkens as they get old (ie less fertile) so bright blonde hair = bebies! Also b) cos it usually comes with blue eyes and blue eyes show the pupils, all the better to see if someone is interested in you and giving you smokey come-hither bedroom eyes!

Can anyone tell me why on earth I want to make a felted bird house? OK apart from my fave yarn shop in Fort Collins having a heap of them in their ornamental cherry....

And why do these two shrugs appeal?

Just to show that it is ages since I looked at New Scientist's home page, I just discovered the "Last Word" blog. Go knock yourselves out - it will keep me busy for a while to come!

On a totally different note, does anyone ever find that people are friending them on Ravelry when you've never heard of the person before? I think that it is people who read one's blog but don't comment, so they know about you but you don't know about them because you are not psychic. I am not particularly fussed about it or anything, just bemused. It is another way to meet people! LOL

Maybe I'll have some photos to share next time! I am such naughty, bad blogger! OK, here's a little tease. See if you can guess what it is.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

A-maizing sock

G'day all!

How about some more sock love?

I cast on this poor lonely thing the day after I bought the yarn at Imagiknit in SF. I decided to play with some fagotting patterns and see what happened. I intend to do the second sock slightly differently, just to see what happens and if it looks a bit less "busy."

(Heh. I wondered why noone had commented - that is because I forgot to finish this post for two whole days!)

Yarn details: Crystal Palace "Maizee.
Pattern: toe up, using some random cross between the Riverbed and Ridgeline sockitectures by Cat Bordhi, lace pattern came out of my head using a faggoting pattern and the rainy day sock lace that I like so much. There are three repeats of the faggoting pattern (A) and two of the four stitch pattern (B). The colour of the sock is more accurate in the next pic.

This yarn is interesting. It tends to "squeak" in that it is a bit crunchy. Sometimes it makes that same sort of squeak as lightly cooked green beans or a freshly washed, crispy towel do on my teeth. Alas I am not at all fond of that squeak. It is icky. Still the yarn was quite good to knit - it does split if you are not careful cos it is made up of many fine strands. This made it difficult to rip back any mistakes - picking up yarns that have many plies is annoying.

I wore that sock and a woollen sock around the house a day or two ago. I think Maizee will be a quite fine summerweight sock but it is not so good for cool days (though the amount of breezeways/lace (aka holes) I put into it would not help its toastiness!).

I'll probably buy some more of this yarn at some point. I've only seen it at Imagiknit so far but I am sure it will be doing the rounds of all the sock-yarn lovin' shops soon. After all, I have only been to five yarn shops around the Bay area so far.

PS we bought an ultra dwarf apple tree last weekend and a heap of seeds to plant. I think that means we are staying a bit longer....

PPS there is a good quilting shop 10 minutes bike ride away. Will I fall down that slippery slope as well? I don't have sewing machine and need a vacuum cleaner first before any other infrastructure is bought....This one would do!


Friday, February 01, 2008

Something nice

G'day all!

After the last panicked post, I have to show you something nice.

Last year I was a member of the Rockin Sock Club (but I lost the last mailing, boo hiss for moving at the wrong time of the year and not having a forwarding address and not having told Blue Moon cos I didn't realise I didn't have all six mailings cos everything was in storage = no last mailing for me! They told me so - unless it is returned, they won't send me it. Isn't it a federal offence to throw out someone else's mail?).

So how about we look at the second last pair of socks since I can't ever show you the last 2007 pair.

Lenore, top down socks by the Yarnharlot. Pretty, isn't she? or they really.

As always I modified the pattern. See the different toes? I decided not to keep the pattern going to the toe of the second sock as I keep sticking my second toe's nail through the hole at the tip. That is probably a bad thing to do.

And the heels are different too. Do not adjust your set, cos....

Oh and the length of the socks is different cos someone didn't have the instructions with her when she knitted the heel and foot of the second sock. Ooops. But they are still pretty. And the difference in colour and yarn texture shows what happens when one sock is worn six times and machine washed a number of times (never tumbled dry though).

I started these socks when the yarn came out around Halloween. They took a long time to finish simply as a result of knitting three other pairs of Christmas socks, two hats, a face warmer/neck gaiter, a scarf and some other random stuff like travelling around the US for half of November and Canada for most of December.

It is so nice to have another "pair" of socks.


panicked, again

G'day all!

I'm all in a flap, again. DH has started with a project group who want him to work *only* in an operating system and programs he despises with the heat of a brazillion suns. Now he wants to go home.

Some people would say well he should just use the stuff and get it done but it is like asking a fervent Catholic to become a Buddhist or a Muslim. In southern Australian terms, like asking a footy supporter to barrack for Collingwood when they despise that team. People get evangelical about their favourite operating system/hardware - just look at the Mac advocates or linux geeks (DH is the latter and I use linux all the time). Making a linux advocate use The Proprietary Software of Doom is just not going to happen. Forcing someone to do something that is against their values and ethics is foolish - noone wins.

So what would happen if we went home? Well we would be in debt up to our ears - we would have to pay 11/12ths of the costs of relocating us and getting us visas, etc. We would not have jobs and for the time being no place to live either. We would not be able to afford to get most of our stuff home (and I would be spewing cos I have some really nice yarn and fleece, let alone the practical stuff like clothes, cutlery and crockery which we brought with us).

Now the interesting thing is that when he says he wants to go home, I panic. Why? It isn't as if I don't miss Australia, my family, my friends, the cats, our garden, etc, etc - I'm often homesick. I think it is because of unfinished business here. I haven't had a chance to actually DO anything. I've seen some stuff but not enough. I've started settling in. I guess we've talked about doing stuff and I am looking forward to that, we have vague plans to see stuff and travel. Mebbe I don't want to go home because I'll have to find some suckful job that I'll hate within months, if not weeks (eg working in a call centre in an insurance company - I am somewhat phone phobic after working for years with social security and insurance clients, some of whom are not Nice People). I want to learn more about this place, feel the seasons come and go, try to understand it some.

So I am all in a tizzy, again. I am so over this sort of stuff. I understand where he is coming from but for a relatively practical bloke, he does get himself in *such* a lather. And then I get in a lather too.

I wish I had someone to talk to. Now that we have a place to live I was expecting to make connections and friends but that hasn't happened yet. We have only been here four days. I just wish I knew whether it was worth my while making those connections - I don't make friends easily and if they are just going to be taken away from me again is there any point?

Maybe I will go look at my stash, only that might be sadness making. I should go make another sock and tidy up some more. I am still getting rid of crap that moved with us, you know the sort of stuff that you just didn't sort out and is not really stuff to keep, it just hasn't been gotten rid of yet....