Saturday, August 30, 2008

Have you ever

G'day all!

Have you ever walked in to a shop and thought, "This feels right. I like it here!"

The other day the temps hit the old ton, or 38C. That was the day I decided to take my bike into Nathan's work, pick up some printouts that I need (why no, we don't have a printer cos the one we want does not have linux drivers) and then cycle off to places far.

I knew I had to ride up a certain road to get to the place I wanted to go and then I had to go a little west. It was a little tad warm but on the bike it feels cooler than walking cos you make your own breeze. I thought I only had to go maybe a couple of miles, say 3km. That is very do-able on the bike.

Anyway, I rode and I rode and I rode. I rode and rode a bit further. Then I got to the end of the road (literally) and did not recognise where I had to go, having never been there before. So I guessed the direction and rode that way, and you know what? After about 4 miles of riding, all up, I found the place I wanted to go to!

Bobbin's Nest Studio

Now why did I like this place? Mainly because Erin, the owner, is really nice. She didn't mind at all that this horridly sweaty, oops glowy, person lobbed into her shop and glowed all over the place. I hadn't noticed being sweaty outside cos it evaporated but inside a shop without a breeze.... She chatted to me and was very helpful as I tried to find the Baby Surprise jacket pattern in one of the EZ books. She even gave me her hairstylist's card wheb I mentioned something - I think it was something about haircuts and finding someone who can make fine baby hair (mine) look nice. Last time my hair was professionally cut was in Jan or Feb 2004. LOL On a different topic, oddly enough the previous night I had been bemoaning the lack of Hand Maiden/Fleece Artist stuff in SJ and guess what? They carry some of their lines! Oooh, lovely! Not that I bought any on the spot cos I am trying to be slightly good, but now I know where to find it!

Heh. I guess I should've taken some pics of the stuff I bought there. Oh wait, I just did! Most of it was on clearance - odd balls of Rowan cotton to try out, a Rowan book and before you all think I've become a Rowanette, some CPY Merino 5 (not on clearance) cos it is beautiful me colours and it is cushy!

I will have to do the ride again on a cooler day and take some pics along the way cos it is through the Rose Garden area of SJ and there are super cute (and super expensive!) houses and things like the Rosicrucian museum. Plenty to keep the eyes entertained as the brain fries and the legs pedal. Of course there are also cars to be wary of but if you pick the right roads not many cars go along them.


Do you feel old?

G'day all!

The fun continues here - it's all knitting, spinning, watering plants and hauling wood from the timber yard on the bike trailer...

(That's the wood to build the legs and rails of a table to stick our plants on - no top for it yet though cos I can't fit it on the trailer with the other wood.)

It's been stinking hot here recently and our flat is hot hot hot. Even though it is only 21C out at present, things have gotten hot. Yes we could use the air con but that doesn't seem to cool the place down a lot for very long. Instead we have fans going. Even the rangehood is on - it vents to the outside!!! Lawksamercy me, fancy having a rangehood that vents outside...

Now, if this doesn't make you feel old, nothing will. Yes Whacko Jacko, Michael Jackson himself, the bloke who was top of the pops when I came of age, has turned 50. Fifty. You could knock me over with a feather...


Wednesday, August 27, 2008


G'day all!

Doncha love it when your neighbour steps out for a "private" chat on their mobile phone?

Of course since they are talking on a mobile (or cell, your choice), they talk LOUDER. And they tell ALL THEIR NEIGHBOURS THEIR PERSONAL PROBLEMS.

I guess because we care. Not!

I finished somethings!

(It's Sockama bin Nathan!)

Hooray! Hope they fit DH ok. And they are not quite matching cos some nong didn't pull enough of the guts of the ball out, not realising how the pattern was set up at that state (two lots of brown, not just one).

More later.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Argh! Do these socks ever end?

G'day all!

Tomorrow is DH's birthday. He already has his major present (an electronic piano) but he gets a pair of socks from me each year. Not just any old socks, no, socks handknitted by me. They are mostly orange socks, though he does have two pairs of blue handknitted socks cos I bought the yarn for me and it ended up being for him.

I still have another two inches to knit on the chevron ditto socks. I've been doing them two at a time on magic loop. I am blaming them for my right forearm getting sore, but it could be any number of things - riding pretty much every day except for two in the last two weeks, having to hang on to the coffee grinder whilst grinding coffee (I don't drink coffee, btw), knitting 5000 million gazillion items recently, compensating for my left wrist after I sprained it last week... all sorts. But what it means is I have to take frequent breaks. That is annoying as I can't get a good rhythm up, and I haven't got the things finished yet. I want them finished so I can knit other stuff. I have so much other stuff to knit! I am not good at being monogamous (in my knitting projects, though the doctor who saw m weeks ago thought I had four boyfriends and a husband - like one bloke at a time is enough for this little black duck!), especially when the colours are not my favourites.

BTW, for those who are nearby, come along to the Coop in Campbell Tuesday evening :-)


Thursday, August 21, 2008


G'day all!

I would like to show off the massive progress I've made on Nathan's socks but really? Another 1.5 repeats is not exactly exciting.

Instead you get to see some other stuff.

Like the red tank I am making for myself.


It is a mixture of the Ballet Camisole that used to be on Magknits, now on Ravelry, and Soleil from Knitty. (Yep, too lazy to put the links in. Oh ok, I've added the one for Soleil as I do have the page handy, like one of a thousand tabs on Firefox.) I am knitting it with an 80% cotton 205 wool blend from cascade.

I've been working on my Mystery Stole 3.

For months it looked just a little further along than this:

Then it looked like this (black line to give some idea of where it was before I picked it up last week after it guilted me into doing something about it):


And two days ago it had this extra bit on it:

It now has even more repeats of the flower motif.

We've had some visitors recently:

(This devil came in the front door and when I grabbed the camera ran towards me! What is it with squirrels and cameras anyway? They seem to love them.)

(Pretty puss! Excuse the lack of removing the red eye. I presume she is a (godsakes, name has gone, umm, starts with t) tonkinese from the patterning on her points)


I picked up a great t-shirt from an op shop the other day. I love the print on it, though it's a pity that the tshirt is orange. Can't wear orange, not even for halloween. Yep, the op shop had a halloween stand already! I am trying to figure out what I can do with the print.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

oot and aboot

G'day all!

The last few days have been mildly interesting. We have lost faith in the US health-care "system." We need to find a good doctor I guess rather than ones who come in to help out and have terrible bedside manner and underwhelming knowledge of conditions.

I found an aqua cashmere sweater at an op shop :-) It is being deconstructed cos it was a little small for me.

I trawled off to the San Jose Textiles and Quilt museum. (In wandering around the area I was bemused to find pavement stamped with the contractor's name and year the concrete was laid. 1956. The concrete that was stamped with 1956 was newer than the concrete surrounding it. Holy guacamole!) They had decided to do something a little different, for which one of the volunteers apologised. Americans apologise for the weirdest things, like the textiles museum allowing knitting as an exhibition. Anyway I went to see a knitting exhibition and a crocheted coral reef. The coral reef was done by local school children and was amusing. I am not sure that coral really comes in some of the colourways displayed but it was all very happy and bright, except for the corner piece of bleached reef. I would like to knit hyberbolic crochet but what on earth would I do with it? Use it as wash cloths? Send it to friends and family for them to work out a use for it? Some would say that it doesn't need a use but they live in somewhat more than 750 sq feet I'd guess!

The exhibition was of knitted art - sculpture and clothes. There were some really interesting/weird pieces, like a finger knitted wire "pillow" where the artist said that was how she saw her pillow when she had bad dreams - it had spikes sticking out of it and was most unpillow-like, or the "superhero" outfits, or the woman who knitted jumpers (sweaters) that reflected her worries and preoccupations, so one pullover had knitted bowling balls attached to the arms - her worrywort nature weighs her down. No pics of course - it's very naughty taking pics of artwork! Not even a postcard or two of it.

So instead, I shall show a couple of projects I am working on at the moment.

It is Nathan's birthday in less than a week. Eeek!


These socks have to be finished by then. I am now up to the point where I'll start the heel gusset - that's two more and a bit repeats from when the pic was taken. Note that I am doing them two at a time. Still not fond of that technique so I am struggling a bit between ucky yarn and ucky technique. The yarn is pretty average but it was cheap! Actually money was not the issue, finding something that was orange was - DH loves orange. I'm not entirely sure that it loves him back, mind.

I am knitting a curtain. I am mad. The curtain will take forever if I knit it for the front window so it is going to be for the bedroom window. The bedroom window is a bit more that 50cm high but it is about 3m long.


It's taken one and a bit balls of crochet cotton to get it to about 22cm (9") long. Only about 50cm to go! Hooray!


Feeling vaguely grumpy today. It may be lack of sleep. DH has been very restless recently (for those who feel game, google "The Worm Within") and things are not very fun. I need to find me a job that will entertain me and keep me occupied. I need some meaning in my life, and I know that a job isn't meaning but jeez it gets me out of the house and meeting people, with any luck. I haven't the foggiest where to start, except contacting the recruitment person who dealt with Nathan. No connections. No network. Most of the knitters I know are financial people and that is very Not Me. Hmm, grumpiness it definitely related to tiredness. If I am not careful soon I shall be putting my fist into my eye and wriggling it around and declaring, "I'm not tired!" when it is patently obvious that I am!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ravelry lerv and gobsmack

G'day all!

It is nearly midnight here on the 19th of August, about to be 20th August.

Out of curiosity, I just looked at this:
number of users on Ravelry

and got told:

698 Ravelers are online
online = active within the last 5 minutes

39,714 users have visited Ravelry during the last 24 hours.

Out of the 168,503 registered users, 70,216 users have been active during the last 7 days.


Nearly 170,000 users! About 40% of them have been on Ravelry in the last week, and nearly 40K have used Ravelry in the last day. That is a hmm-hmm load of people, people!

(I am always logged in to Ravelry unless my computer is off, which is rare - my greenhouse bad but given how often I use the machine....)


Friday, August 15, 2008

The madness continues

G'day all!

No pics of FOs today. I have to find one of the socks that was completed before we moved. I also have to find its unmate that was made after we moved. Ahem.

Instead I will divert you with pictures of sock yarn pr0n. This would be a spoiler for the current STR club selection except if you haven't got the yarn and patterns by now, you really should give them/the post a prod.


I know that not everyone loves pastels, including Tina at Blue moon Fiber Arts. But I love them. Light blue, pink, mauve and light green all look lovely on me - being pale and blonde I am best suited to blue and pink-based colours. Yellows and peaches look atrocious on me, as do any of the yellow-based and tinted colours.


But this yarn, droollllll...


Mmm, yummy!

It reminds me of Fruit Tingles, my lolly (candy) of choice Back 'Ome. Just you wait until you see the pattern! It is a perfect marriage of lolly with lolly.

Of course I cast on after the madness of moving finished. Then I realised that DH's birthday is in another couple of weeks, so I have thrown the Goody Goody socks aside and started knitting some quite horrid yarn that has stripes of brown, white, dark orange and yellow. The quality of the yarn is Not Good but DH has tough skin (actually he has very soft skin that scars easily but he is not irritated by wool, lucky thing!).

Anyway, more distraction for you.

I was reading Crazy Aunt Purl today. She had a rant about planting stuff in the front yard, like having an edible garden there. I totally approve of edible gardens (assuming you are allowed to water them when they need water! Unlike in my home city where we can only water twice a week due to water restrictions). I totally approve of having lots of lovely plants in the front and back yards of a house instead of lawn. Lawn sucks time and money and resources like nothing on the planet. Americans spend $3.5 billion on lawncare products alone (not services). It looks nice and green, but imagine what you could plant there instead! Imagine what sorts of horrid things are being put into the ground to keep it weed and pest free and the water wasted on lawn. (OK, you might not want to plant food crops there if the lawn has been treated with DDT for the last 50 years but then again the whole front yard should be declared a chemical disaster zone too.) Of course some places won't let you have something other than lawn in the front yard - wildflower gardens can be seen as weedy. I don't understand the American obsession with having lawns - not just grass, no lawns that are manicured to within an inch of their lives. At least you guys don't scalp your grass like Australians tend to.

Rant over.

Hmm, some links to amuse you and get them off my tabs :-)

The Spanish president seems to have changed his look a bit.

Follow the link to "Running the Numbers" to see some truly awful sights. The amount of stuff consumed and thrown away each day in the US (and other places) is amazing.

I want to make Terra but I can't make it in wool cos I will itch madly. Any suggestions for substitutes? Cotton/wool blends seem to be ok so far...

I also want to make Wisteria but again can't use wool.

I signed up for the current Knitters for Knockers and I was going to do so before the YarnHarlot advertised. Gosh Steph can make or break a project!

I want to go to OFF but will I find any fleeces there? Am I better off trying to flog some stuff I have made to help make a little money to get me home for a visit? Does anyone have any info about having a hobby business in California? I've been searching online but they always seem to get into businesses that are meant to make $$$$ and have lots of employees. Mebbe I should talk to the town clerk here.

I love websites like Seed Savers. They make me want to buy a gazillion seeds and plant out a garden even though we only have a 2mX4m patio... And I love sites like Fire Mountain Gems too cos then I just want to go nuts buying beads and roll around in prettiness. I also need to find some rose websites. It is even better getting paper catalogues cos then I can drool in bed at them (which explains why the pages get gummed together ;-) Of course I am trying to reduce the amount of Stuff I buy - nothing that does not have a purpose. Some days I just want crud but I figure that is part of some emotional deficiency rather than actually needing that crud.

I guess I should get a pic of all the projects in progress. I've signed up for Mystery Stole 4, in a moment of madness. I haven't even finished MS3, though I have knitted all of Clue 2 in the last two days and started on Clue 3 last night. I've spun half the yarn I want to use and now am finalising the bead choice. The yarn is spun from a Nebo Farm steel grey merino ewe called Sarah (no longer with us) and the beads are tealy/turquoise glass (silver lined but do I use the shiny ones or the frosted ones) and silver. I've also got a red tank in Sierra (80% cotton, 20% wool) on the go along with a window curtain and four socks. Ack!

Anyway, have a good weekend, those of you who have not reached the weekend, and hope the rest of you are enjoying your weekend.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Once upon a time

G'day all!

Once upon a time, there were two yarn buddies. They were the best of friends, even though one was made of bamboo and the other of cotton and soy.


They were so complimentary to each other that they thought they should get together.


They really liked what they saw in each other,

So they kept on going until finally they had created something new and beautiful out of themselves:




If only all stories could end so nicely!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


G'day all!

Here's a little top I finished the same day as the Nashua lemon cable and lace cardi.


It's made from Knit1 Crochet2 Wick (rav link). Wick is a weird yarn. It is stretchy and bouncy - great for fitted items. It is a mix of polypropylene and soy. It is a knitted yarn - a tube of knitting that you knit. It is very snippy about the slightest roughness of hands and needles and catches/snags a lot. I would not recommend it for outerwear that is likely to get snagged or rubbed against by rough surfaces. But it is fun to knit...


It is a top down raglan using one of the online calculators (too lazy to link it, my bad!). All bar about three rows were knitted continental. continental is not a big win in time for me as my usual knitting style is pretty quick, but picking does give me a break from the usual knitting. I am practising picking without looking at the knitting. It is a very useful thing, being able to knit without looking at it - that's how I manage to knit and read or knit and watch DVDs.


I wanted a little bolero type top to wear over singlets (shells/tanks) when riding. Have I used it yet for this purpose?

(That's my sardonic look - oh gawd, I have to take photos of me! I'm not fond of photos cos I'm not babe-licious but if I have to be in photos, I'd best try to look pleasant. Oh and I am half-blind without my glasses...)

Nope! But it will happen. It just has to be warm enough - we've had lots of cool weather recently, though the last couple of days have been into the 30s (80s). I've almost had to wear jackets during the day! And there were even CLOUDS last week - first we saw since a week or two before Nathan's mum arrived for her visit.

The FOs will keep on going *if* I can find the first sock of an unpair, knitted before we moved, and *if* I get pics of a tank I finished yesterday (DH expects to find a fully armoured, knitted tank with automatic sensors and a big gun turret now, not a little sleeveless top...).


Monday, August 11, 2008

Watch out, she's on a roll!

G'day all!

I seem to have batches of startitis eventually followed by finishitis.

(closest to correct colour but still not right)

Today I give you the Braided Wrap. (excuse the pics - camera didn't want to use the flash and they are a bit grainy and colour-wonky even after a bit of fiddling.)

(me over and over and over, disappearing into infinity)

This is an interesting wrap made from SWTC Therapi (Rav link). The yarn has bowdler (jade) in it, along with silk and wool. It knits up quite well, with occasional lumps of extra silk or weird fluff (the jade?).

The pattern, designed by my fellow Aussie Sarah Golder, is free with five balls of Therapi.


Pretty nifty, eh? As you can see, I am contemplating making me one - this one is for the LYS.


It took less than two weeks from start to finish, at the same time as I was knitting an almost completed tank for me. I've also started an opus in crochet cotton - I am knitting a curtain from it. A LARGE curtain. 15cm down. I only have another 1.4m to go. Ackles.

PS A1 - there is a cat that looks rather like Angles across the way from us.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

FO - shop sample cardi

G'day all!

I finally remembered to take the camera to the shop with me and got some pics of the cardi I made for them.


Details: Nashua Handknits Ecologie Cotton (rav link) in wattle (very appropriate!). 100% pima cotton. The dye colours are apparently natural dyes. The yellow doesn't show up very well in the pics but the cardi is quite obviously white and yellow when seen in the "flesh.".


This was a bit of a mongrel to knit. Keeping the pattern going through the decreases and also being cotton? Argh it got pretty hard on the hands doing the cross-overs. And it need an extra stitch or two on the edges of the body pieces to help maintain the pattern - it snugs up a bit closer than I'd like. But the result is very pretty and it should maintain its shape cos of all the ribbing in it and those cross overs.


I'd like to make this in a wool or wool blend, mebbe with long(er) sleeves.



Saturday, August 02, 2008

Because it is Saturday night and I am tired

G'day all!

It has been another big day here at the Minute Mansion (all 750 sq feet of it!).

We are *still* unpacking. Today I rode a whole 3.5 miles (or 5.5 kays) to a localish Target, into a headwind (the sea breeze) with the bike trailer bouncing merrily along behind me. First though I went to the material shop (fabric) to see if I could find some lightweight cotton voile for making curtains out of - our place isn't exactly private, though it is dark. Nope! unless I want navy or red. Ack. Those might be my footy team's colours but they won't help keep the space light and open.... So I bought some pretty cotton crochet yarn instead (at another shop). I'll prolly knit it on largeish needles to make some quick and cheap and overall LIGHTweight curtains so we don't have to have the blinds pulled all the time.

Then I did the credit card some damage at Target. I bought chrome shelving and a pine shoe shelf. We so need places to put stuff. I bought "sweater" racks - the things that hang off the wardrobe railing, I bought some blue wire cube things fort the fleece... I just went nuts. And I had to bring it all home on the trailer. The wind had changed direction and I had a heavily loaded bike trailer that creaked and groaned. You can guess what direction the wind was now blowing in....

And you know what? It all went together ok! The pine shoe shelving holds most of my African Violets (and cousins), the larger chrome shelf fits in the cupboard! (But now I don't know where to put the cubes cos they were going in the cupboard but if they go in too, where do I put the suitcases?) Why oh why do apartment designers forget to make cupboard spaces big enough for people who have more than clothes? Let alone make the cupboards useful for people who have anything other than hanging up clothes...

Pity about dinner too - I cut up a whole lotta buffalo and started cooking it, chucked in some spices and some vegies and left it with the lid on to cook through. Ooops. VERY black dinner. This would be about three out of four dinners now. I am just not used to cooking with gas any more!

So here are things that are amusing me at present, or I think are wowee or notable. Or I just wanted to inflict on you.

Weird cloud/light interactions

Asymmetry affects all parts of our lives it seems (open the transcript)

An article on "smart cities"

A greenie's paradise in Chicago

Carmen Vader

Cookie A's many sock patterns that I want to make.

I was gobsmacked to read that Exxon-Mobil admit they have been funding "climate denier" research.

Everyone must have seen the rap about the large hadron (phew, typed it right) collider by now?

I want this (natural spruce with white bamboo) or this and crikey look at these! I have a "thing" for Tiffany lamps, or copies, even if I don't have any and can't figure out where to put them anyway... A screen would be good cos people can see from the open front door to the toilet, or can see the under-dressed chap wandering from bedroom to toot. Hmm.

Looks like Twist Collective is going to be interesting!

Wanna see some interesting knitted/etc hats on etsy?

OK. That will keep you going for a while until I find the camera cord and download some pics. I could "entertain" you with non-knitting pics. Or mebbe not.

BTW, anyone got a good ratatouille recipe? Tomatoes and eggplants and zucchini are all flooding the farmer's market and I figure that would be a good thing to have!

Plus I am now on LinkedIn. What a weird place. Look for me there if you are on it :-)