Showing posts from April, 2008

Will it never end?

G'day all!

A while ago I got the call to participate in SAM5. I was on the waiting list and got called up in March.

Alas I've lost my sock knitting mojo. Last month's socks, the Spring Socks, were hard to get done in time for the deadline (especially since I kept changing the pattern -I was making it up as I went along). This month's socks, well.... They are really pretty socks. I pulled my finger out some last week in between making christmas stocking. I finished the first sock yesterday evening at the SnB gathering in Campbell (at Sonoma Chicken Coop around fiveish if you are in the area). I've knitted the second sock over the last two days - hardly 48 hours from start to almost finished.

Almost finished. Today I've knitted from the heel up. It has been a struggle. I am soooo over these lovely socks. I just want to finish off the Christmas stockings for my friends' kids and knit me a nice new top but I have to finish these socks.

Can you believe I …

ANZAC Day 2008

G'day all!

Another Anzac Day. April 25. It has already come and gone in the two countries that hold it most dear (that would be Australian and New Zealand - ANZ) but it is still the 25th here.

This is the first Anzac Day I've "celebrated" away from Oz. Goodness, guess who forgot to do her minute's silence at 11am? I probably was quiet then but not in deliberation.

Last year I wrote a very long post with pictures and quotes from postcards sent back by my Pop (maternal grandfather). This year I have not much to add except reading the coverage and the tales in the local newspaper Back 'Ome gave me a few more reflective moments. All those young men and women going off to places far that they had never dreamed of seeing - it would've been like going to the moon!

Anyway it is very odd to be here, where Anzac means nothing. Then again, Americans in Australia would feel the same sort of dislocation when it comes to July 4 and Thanksgiving. Oddly enough Austra…

How to lose inches instantly!

G'day all!

The other day I grabbed a different tape measure to the one I usually use.

Goodness gracious, I had lost about 3-4cm! (For those imperialists, that's about 1-1.5 inches, oh except I should say 1 - 1 1/2 inches cos it seems Americans prefer fractions. Those of us in the metric age struggle relatively with fractions, especially when dividing them - much easier to divide 1.375 by 2.5 than 1 3/8s by 2 1/2....)

So I thought the new tape measure must be wrong. I lined up the tape measure with a cardboard ruler that cannot possibly stretch and guess what? My old tape measure is wrong!

Hooray! I am smaller than I thought I was, which explains why I fit into a size smaller clothing than I should. Duh!


partial project

G'day all!

Sarah was interested in what I am making and what I am making it from.

Well, here is the front (incomplete!) of the Drops tshirt I am making.

It is in Classic Elite Premiere yarn, a 50:50 cotton:tencel blend. I am sure it will pill and not look so pretty in all too short a time but we will try it out. it is very soft against my skin. The contrast (which is not part of the pattern) is a slightly heavier weight - 100% pima cotton called T'ika from Mirasol. The colours are not quite right but I have jiggered them to be within some sort of coo-ee of what they really should be. They are a little greyer/less saturated than shown. So far it has been a pretty easy knit, as long as I remember to cross the cables correctly. 8-D

I was knitting it at Nathan's work yesterday and one of his workmates asked me how do I do the cables without a cable needle. This was a guy! I shall have to question him further at some point.

I've had to put down the top for me for the ti…

Earth Day

G'day all!

Earth Day has rolled around again.

This year for Earth Day, what have I done?

Well, I rode my bike and took public transport. I went shopping (eek!) and looked for stuff that is all reusable or recyclable or will rot. That is my new thang - everything I buy I want to be able to recycle, reuse or compost. Sometimes I can't get away from the Bad Stuff (use once, throw it away, never reuse or recycle it) but a lot of the time there is a work around.

One thing that is fascinating me is how dependent we have become on plastic. Plastic is EVERYWHERE! We line our plastic rubbish bins with plastic liners to throw out our plastic wrappers and baggies and containers. Our food comes wrapped in plastic. We store stuff in plastic. Our furniture is made of plastic or coated/covered in plastic. Light switches, power points, lamps, computers, clothes, fridges, kitchenwares, all sorts of things are made out of plastics, lined with plastic, coated with plastic.... Some plastics…

Nothing like a new project

G'day all!

Y'know when I read that subject line, I see two ways to interpret it in particular.

a) Nothing is better than a new project


b) What I am up to is actually an old project.

Well I have TWO new projects on the needles! A new pair of socks (but as usual I am doing them toe up so the pattern is upside down) and a summer top for me. I've finished the second secret project, it is blocked, it has been admired, now it needs to be photographed and sent off to its recipient. Hooray for finishing stuff! I am contemplating writing it up and sending it to spin-Knitty.

I have not finished some other bits and bobs - they are on hold pending the outcome of someone else's not very secret project.

Wait a moment - I have to go rummage around for some photies. I've been a Very Dull Blogger recently - no photos! They won't relate to anything much but the blog must be fed photos.

Mmmm, something good for you spinners out there. CVM/rambouillet. Like silver clouds. Yum…

Have you ever... ssk vs k2tog

G'day all!

So I am knitting frantically on a Secret Project. I've had it on the go for waaaaaay too long. I want it finished. I've spun up some more yarn and all for it.

Hooray, I said at 9:40 last night - I've finished! All I need to do is graft the two ends together! Yay me!

At 10:40, after ripping some of it back cos I had made a *very* obvious mistake, I finished again!

At 11:30, I finished for the third time! Hooray for me! Yep, the same mistake on the *other* part of the project.

Now when I look at it, I see that on one, along the lines of faggoting/ladders that add interest to otherwise boring stocking stitch, I've used ssk on one side and k2tog on the other of the ladder. So that is ssk. yo, k1, yo, k2tog on one end of the piece and k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk on the other. Alas! *And* I've changed my mind on occasion about which to use. Ah well. It all looks ok until you examine closely, knowing what you are looking for. Yes it would only take anoth…

Spring Socks

G'day all!

These were my last FO for March. It is now pretty much the Ides of April and I still haven't blogged them. So without further ado, I give you

Spring Socks! (isn't foreshortening a wonderful thing?)

Do you think I like star toes? These are toe up socks so the swirls are created by increases not decreases.

Yarn - Hipknits, a kind gift from Mrspao for my birthday last year. I think it is a merino/angora/cashmere blend but Hipknits doesn't label their yarns with anything but their URL, which isn't very helpful. I didn't realise how lovely the yarn was until I started knitting with it and sussed that it was the same as Posh Yarn's "Emily" sock yarn. Thanks, mrsp!

The heels are different - I wanted to see how the eye of partridge worked on them.

I was aiming to knit these by Easter but of course Easter was early. However, I figured the pattern (such as it is) was perfect for this time of year. Admittedly it doesn't feel very much like…


G'day all!

In a recent fit of badness, I bought some yarn!

Ooo, I am so naughty! It was yarn for which I have no purpose!

Y'see there was a knit meeting at Knitting Arts in Saratoga. They are clearing out some of their excess yarn. Oh dear.

Here's a bag that is supposed to make a shawl or wrap but I thought it would be good to make something else, not that I know what that something else might be - maybe some of it could become a tank top. Or maybe not. It has lots of noice yarns in it in rather Lynne colourways.

The whole lot cost me $30 (plus tax).

Then there were bags and bags and bags of yummy Koigu KPPM in semi-solids. Oh I lusted! Lust lust lust!

Eventually, a few of us cut a number of deals and I ended up with this:

at a bargain price. Woo hoo! Got me some Koigu - my first ever.

Heh. Would you think I've got an extreme case of the crabs at the moment? Gosh I am snippy. I've written two snippy emails to places today (one to a place that keeps asking me to …

Licensed to earn!

G'day all!

I am still a slacker - still haven't dealt with the huge backlog of pics that I have but I have news!

I am now allowed to go find work! I have a work permit!

Yesterday I got a letter saying that my application had been approved and today? A pretty card with an awful photo of me showed up. Hooray!

I am a little shocked by it all cos the application only went in last month and I expected to wait until June, so now I guess I should be getting my resume up to date (having not worked for hmm, well over a year) and looking for jobs that I would enjoy.

Plus if I want I can start dyeing yarn again, and update the yarnivorous yarns website. Some friends back 'ome have the old yarn and fibre in tubs but I foolishly didn't label the tubs and I don't know who has what yarn and fibre - makes it hard to sell stuff when it isn't easily locatable!

And I can become a Real Person! Until now I've basically only existed in the eyes of homeland security, and I have no…

Magknits goes bye-byes

G'day all!

Hope you weren't making a lot of stuff from Magknits! Kerrie pulled the site down!

Ravellers can be happy as various of the designers will put the designs on Ravelry (search for Magknits and read the threads) and the Island of Misfit Patterns has offered to host patterns there (handy for non-Ravellers). It will take a bit of time though cos various of the designers are going to reformat the patterns into PDFs etc.

In the meantime, you can google for the pattern name and look at the cached version (no pics though cos that links to magknits).

Bizarre eh?


Skatole - ICK!

G'day all!

Well possibly not *That* good.

I've just discovered the joys of skatole.

Never heard of it?

Well here is what wikipedia has to say about it:

Skatole or 3-methylindole is a mildly toxic white crystalline organic compound with chemical formula C9H9N and CAS number 83-34-1. The compound belongs to the indole family and has a methyl substituent in position 3 of the indole ring. It occurs naturally in feces (it is produced from tryptophan in the mammalian digestive tract), beets, and coal tar, and has a strong fecal odor. In low concentrations it has a flowery smell and is found in several flowers and essential oils, including those of orange blossoms, jasmine, and Ziziphus mauritiana. It is used as a fragrance and fixative in many perfumes and as an aroma compound. Its name is derived from the Greek root skato- meaning "dung". ( last accessed 8 April 2008)

This page has some more relevant (to my situation) stuff to say about it. …

Blessed hummer!

G'day all!

oh boy oh boy! A hummer has discovered the feeder I put up last week!

So excited!

And no it isn't one of the monstrous vehicle type hummers - wouldn't want one of those hanging around my back patio (or the front one, or anywhere near me actually). I've been eyeballing the local hummingbirds and wondering if one will come visit if I entice it, and it is and it has - the amount of sugar water in the feeder has gone down over the last day (since I re"filled" it, actually). It had a last sip after sunset last night and before when I was weeding the "garden" it hovered around the feeder and checked me out.

I took a while to decide to feed the beasties - I don't think it is right to feed wild things in general but we don't have hummers at home and this is the only way I'll get to see one relatively close up. I'm told only one will come to the feeder cos the type we have here are territorial. We'll see. I've also got s…

April Fool's?

G'day all!

Recently I said I have a new obsession. The obsession has died down a little bit now that I have finished the second item (the first one is awaiting more "yarn").

So what is the obsession? Is this an April Fool's joke or the real deal?


What's the big deal about crochet? I am left handed. I knit right handed. I can't crochet right handed though and my left handed crochet did not work cos I wrapped the stitch the wrong way so it would never catch on the hook. Not long ago I grokked that I was doing it wrong and voila!

Thank heavens it is not scrapbooking. I really don't need even more hobby stuff in this place.

My new little bag is from the Happy Hooker, the SNB crochet book. It is made with Caron Simply Soft. I had to buy a whole huge skein of yucky acrylic to finish my Cash Iroha top (cos Noro does like to make singles yarns and they do not hold up well in the seaming process). I used about 5m of acrylic from a 280m skein to …