Showing posts from May, 2008

17 years

G'day all!

Well maybe not the best of all days but not bad considering.

17 years ago on this day, after most of a year battling cancer, my mother died. It was a sad but in a way welcome thing. She had been so very sick and was fighting so hard, but there comes a time when you have to let them go.

Someones Back 'Ome are facing a different but very similar problem. Their baby was born with a severe disability. Baby can't swallow so she breathes in any of the usual upper body baby fluids and her lungs are shot. What do you say to a couple whose baby can't stay in this world, not for love nor money? She's only a little thing. She's not had much chance at life. They've tried so hard....

So on this sad day, I look at the good things, the memories, the things that are learned. I thank Mum for passing on the crafty genes (though the Old Man was a crafter too) and for keeping me alive when I was a little wusster (asthma) so that I can enjoy this life. I reflec…

Socks for May

G'day all!

May is usually my flat month (three significant death anniversaries) but the last week has been rockin' so that is good :-)

I thought things were not going so well when the Holy Blessed Sock (ie the sock that had been held by the Great One herself, aka the yarnharlot) took two weeks to knit. Oh my. 76 stitches and 2mm needles and it just draggggggged onnnn and onnnnnnnnnn and onnnnnnnnnnnn.

So I finally got it to the point where I could cast it off and forget about it for the time being. I thought it killed my sock mojo.


Got these ones done in a WEEK!

I really enjoyed knitting these. I think it showed in that it took very little time to knit them.

Yarn is Crystal Palace Panda Cotton in colourway Strawberries and Limes, I think (can't find the labels lurking - they will appear sooner or later). The colours are closest in the first and last pics, at least on my laptop which has very wonky colour balance. I used 2.5mm needles and a few less stitches than no…

Service will resume shortly

G'day all!

My web host is down at the moment so pics are not happening from it. Since I now have a Flickr pro account, I might start using it for pics instead. BTW, I am natiel3 on Flickr. I've started putting up pics from our travels on it. Given that I took 700 pics plus some wonky-vids on the weekend and I tend to take about 200+ pics a day when we go someplace, this is going to take a while. And I don't put *all* the pics up, just the ones I think are worthwhile.

Strange things from the weekend?

Passing war/veteran's cemeteries on Monday. Each grave had a little American flag stuck into it. There were a lot of graves and a lot of flags. (Wonder where the flags were made? USA or China?) Memorial Day is a big thing here. We don't even get a day off for Remembrance Day back home.

The rental car having the engine light on for most of Sunday, then it disappearing once we were back at sea level - must be some sort of altitude effect.

Admitting that most of the G…


G'day all!

We hired a car. It is very strange driving. Very quick to get to WF and back but I feel so divorced from the road. We are going for a LOOONG drive, ok not that long, only up to Tahoe in the Sierra Nevadas. It turns out to be a long weekend here in the USA for Memorial Day. So we will drive to SF and pick up a work friend of Nathan's and choof off into the wild blue yonder.

So far I have packed food, some clothes (suitable for a place that is good 2km+ above sea level - that will knock us around!), a book to read, a little knitting (of course - new socks, just finished a pair in a WEEK after the horrid PS sock of doom and despair that took two weeks of knitting for one anklet!), toiletries better come too eh? Don't want to be stinky! Ah, the spare electric kettle cos we like tea and my breakfast has to be soaked in very hot water. Umm, hope I have what we need! We don't have accommodation booked but I looked online yesterday and there was a lot availab…


G'day all!

I am no longer grumpy but dangnabbit! A cop just cited Nathan for riding on the footpath. Grr. Nathan rides about 20m on the footpath cos it is the way to the train station and bingo bango they nab him. That is the only time he rides on the path! It isn't actually clear from the Californian highway Code or whatever they call it here that it is illegal but there was a ped so Nathan was "being dangerous." And the cop called him an illegal immigrant.

I would love to show you photos of all the lovely things I've seen recently to take the edge off the dangnabbits but they are on Nathan's machine and I have to copy them to mine rather than just looking at them through the network (cos looking at them via the network doesn't work at the moment). I have lots of pics and couldn't find them cos I forgot they were on either my desktop (which is out of action) or Nathan's, which is inconvenient.

I bought 3 balls of yarn today. My bad!


This is me

(I wish it was my photo but I stole it from the wikipedia page on crabs)

Grump growl grump. Having a bad day. Having a rotten WEEK!

grump growl.....

Swimming meet

G'day all!

Today I abandoned the lovely ladies of the San Jose SnB and trawled off with my darling husband to places far. Well, far if you have to take the bus and ride there. Must say we got a really good park, unlike most of the people there - they drove and the parking was a little limited.


Cos of this!

Yep, that is my nephew swimming in his pet event. The 200m breaststroke.

Is that exciting? A couple of pictures of a random swimmer in a yellow cap bobbing up and down. Almost as good as the gazillions of pics I took of whales years ago - they were tiny little specs in the photos. LOL

He came second!

There he is on the dias, on the left of the pic. It really is him!

For his efforts, he got a beany whale

(Which he gave to me)

a medal

(which he didn't give to me!!!)
a fancy water bottle and a TEN DOLLAR gift voucher! Don't spend it all at once! LOL

Craig and Nathan. (Would you buy a used car off the chap with the beard? Nathan was feeling a little sheepish but he was …

I want...

G'day all!

At the moment I seem to be very wanty. I have a couple of theories about it - one is that DH has been sooooo busy working recently that I've not really seen a lot of him (yes he's often been home but that doesn't mean we can chat and given that he's been on the computer from 10 'til 10, or 11, every day recently and now is at a work love-in for three days...). The other is that well I don't have a car. I've chosen not to get a car cos a) they are expensive = I'd prefer to put the money on the mortgage and buy yarn on occasion and b) I am practising for when we simply cannot afford fuel and alternative transport sources are our options. When I say I don't have a car, people give me this funny look cos only poor people don't have cars, and even many of them still have a car. What sort of weirdo doesn't have a car in California?

So I guess I want company and I want validation. And I'd like it if someone followed my lead. …

Holy cow!

G'day all!

Yesterday it seemed to be a little warm in the afternoon. Before I go out to get to the post office to pick up a parcel and send some off, I thought I would check the weather forecast.

Yikes! I am used to it being about 20C (low 70s), and I see this:



15 MPH

10 MPH.



Highs of 102 tomorrow! That is about 40C! Hmm, better make sure I water the plants both days - they will need it. So will I!


Drops tshirt progress

G'day all!

Thought I would show you some pics of my Drops tshirt 81-6.

These pics date from a week ago! *blush* I am soooo bad not putting them up.

I decided that I should try some fancy shots like I see pretty blogs like Brooklyn Tweed and others doing. Do they do it for you too?

I've now completed the back and worked and reworked and reworked and worked again the sleeve. The sleeve as written for my size would give a sleeve that is nearly 40cm around! I may have giant arms (with great big strapping muscles, well maybe not great big muscles) but like 40cm is a BIG arm for someone who is not *that* well fleshed. Plus when I worked out how long the edge of the sleeve would be, it was not long enough for the armhole of the tshirt body. So I tried to make up my own sleeve. The first attempt didn't have enough space in the head of the arm, the second was better, the third revealed that I needed a slightly larger sleeve and the fourth? Almost right! Hooray!

So now, at this…

New sock

G'day all!

I am trying to get a head start on the socks for this month. I thought I was doing really well last weekend - I was almost up to the heel turn! Yay me!

Then I did a reality check. I am knitting finer yarn than usual (Panda silk) and it is lovely, if a bit splitty. I am knitting more stitches on smaller needles. I've gone up a few stitches from normal. I've used the same sort of heel as I have been using recently (Cat Bordhi's Riverbed architecture). And I've made a sock for someone with a somewhat more plush foot than mine. The sock was big enough for one foot with the other foot trying to get in too!

So I had to rip out half the sock. It has moved on a little since this point:

and I'm doing a shortrow heel this time around, just to be different. I'll put a little gusset into it - about 10 stitches increased for a little ease across the instep. I'm pretty flatfooted due to general bendiness (you should see what my fingers can do!).


Weekly counter

G'day all!

Another post! But a boring one for you. A good one for me!

I've decided to have a running total of my weekly cycling/walking/PTing activities.

So far since Saturday 2nd May, I have walked, cycled or ridden the bus/train for 173 kilometres! (That's just over 107 miles). Close to 20 of those miles were on the bike, 64 were on the Caltrain, 16 on the bus and the rest on foot. No wonder I want to have me a nice lie down and a bex! LOL

(I'm not counting those trips where I've cadged a lift in a car but if I did, this week would have about 250 extra miles added to it.)

Say that it costs 45c per mile to own a small car and put it on the road (current US figures are 54.1c per mile). That is nearly $50 saved! (Admittedly my expenditure was hmm, $14.50 for the trains.) Woot for yarn/fleece money! Plus how much carbon didn't go into the atmosphere? Depending on the sort of car I might drive, a small or compact car, would emit about 0.6 to 0.9lb per mile o…

Fleece pr0n

G'day all!

Meet Sarah.

Isn't she luscious?

Couldn't you just roll around on her all day long? Soft and gentle, Sarah feels wonderful!

I "stole" Sarah away from someone else but she was willing to come with me. For a price ;-)

I am so glad she did, for I will have many hours of pleasure with Sarah :-)

Sarah the merino sheep is alas no longer with us. This is her last fleece. It is beautifully soft. Hope I don't want any more of her fleece! Sarah will be my next big spinning project I feel, though I do want to spin up some CVM to dye and sell.

This week has been a bumpy ride. Woot, meeting the Yarnharlot herself! (I got videos of her knitting - not very good videos but interesting all the same in my attempts to teach myself how to knit without moving the right hand needle.) Kinnearing her socks (loksins I think), though the shot was woefully dark. Meeting all sorts of whacky people. Going to CNCH with Raspberry and her friend (who doesn't have a blog?)…

Queen of Cups socks

G'day all!

Despite all my whinging and griping last week about being bored finishing the Queen of Cups socks, within an hour of blogging, I had the things done.

The pattern is lovely, I just don't have stamina when it comes to making two socks the same. You may have guessed this by now. I am not sure why people insist on socks being the same. Even if I do make them the same, I rarely wear pairs of socks, except for the STR Marble Arches socks cos they are thicker and heavier than various of my other handknitted socks and I notice the difference wearing one of them and say a Lorna's Laces sock.

But they are almost the same, except of course hand-dyed yarn varies a bit so one has pinkier toes than the other and I made one a little longer in the foot if I look at the pattern rows. Do I care?


Modifications? Toe up not top down. That means the pattern is upside down and only looks like cups/chalices from my POV.

Wish I could find the yarn label for the socks. I got the y…

For anyone who lives where it is cold

G'day all!

Had to show this off.

yep, that blurry thing is a mutant tomato growing on our mutantly small bush (its mates are about half a metre high, this one is about 20cm high).

Amazing, eh? Never had a tomato growing this early in the season - never had them before Christmas back ome (remember Christmas = summer for me) and here we are barely May and there is a two week old tomato!

Oh and we have peas too :-) I'll torture you later with them :-)

(back soon to show off last week's socks, thence to the Maker Faire and my new acquisitions)

What a day!

G'day all!

What a day it has been.

This was the highlight:

(Doncha love that double chin I am displaying as I try to hunch down some? I hope someone does!)
(There were a couple of lowlights involving missing trains after RUNNING 70% of the way)

Tomorrow, CNCH - conference of Northern California Handweavers, or just as importantly their market and display! I have to be out the front of our apartments by 8am. Ack!

I am declaring Monday a day of rest and blogging pics, with any luck.


I am real!

G'day all!

Well good news in between wrangling my computer - I am REAL!

I have a Social Security Number! This means I can get a tax record and all sorts of stuff, assuming I ever get off my butt and get a job or start making stuff to sell. I can register for things, I can do stuff that has been barred to me, all sorts of fun!

Most impressed I am - after all it is not long since I applied and it is already here!

I expect to have a busy weekend - the yarnharlot is at the Maker Faire tomorrow so guess which day we are going to the Maker Faire? I'll take pics if I can. And on Sunday I almost have a lift to CNCH in Sacramento, a big weaving/spinning conference and marketplace. If I was really greedy, I'd try to swindle me a ride to the Jordana Paige warehouse open day on Monday but I am not that keen. After all, me and a nice bag are like chalk and cheese, particularly as I tend to bike a lot. I love nice things but I am not very good at wearing them or keeping them nice, so …

Mayday! Mayday! Awooga!

G'day all!

Well not such a good day for my bookmarks.

I am Bad Person. Despite all my Good Intentions, I leave my computer running overnight. It goes to sleep and I turn the (LCD) monitor off.

Last night, Something Went Wrong.

Firefox and/or X windows/window manager crashed and ATE ALL MY BOOKMARKS!

No bookmarks!

DH just spent most of an hour persuading Firefox to import bookmarks that are at least 6 months old. It's forgotten the rest of them. Since we've moved to California, I've developed a heap more really interesting blogs and websites to visit (am particularly fond of garden nurseries and native plants). All gone!

Alas my bookmarks!

It also ate all my cookies, so the things that I normally just breeze into now require thought and patience and the odd let me get a new password.

So if you don't hear from me and I usually swing past your blog on a fairly (ir)regular basis, give me a poke or a hoi (no koi please - we don't have pond and I am not giving up the bat…