Monday, June 30, 2008

Waiting waiting waiting...

G'day all!

Gosh this waiting game gets peeving after a while! MiL's plane was supposed to touch down about 2:30 and it is now nearly 6pm. Hooray! They just arrived! (That was 3.5 hours ago) But I am getting plenty of knitting on a shop model done (and having spent 10 minutes looking for it online I discover that the Nashua Knits website does not have the "Natural Focus" book on it and noone on Ravelry has knitted this cardi, or at least they have not admitted to it. It is a very pretty cardi in Ecologie Cotton - it has both lace and "cables." When I've gotten a bit more done, you'll see it. :-)

I've been putting more Yosemite pics on Flickr, for those that will. I've not tagged/etc them in the main but that will happen! (I'm natiel3 there.)

Photos one day, honest!


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Whoopsy! MIA

G'day all!

I should have lots to show and tell today after a week MIA but you know what?

Nada! I have pics of stuff but no time to edit them and show them off. I have been dyeing things and doing a little spinning and stuff but my MiL is arriving on Monday and I am in panic tidy/clean mode. Plus DH had a melt down and I am knitting a shop model plus had to do HOURS of swatches for a class I ran today (blocking. LOL. I know how to block but I am naughty and only block lace - the rest gets washed and that's good enough!).

We bought an inflatable bed today along with a new keyboard for Nathan (did you know if someone is cranky enough, they can break a keyboard in half?). I found a bamboo scrubbing brush - I've been looking for a scrubbing brush that won't haunt generations to come or delight future archaeologists mining our rubbish dumps. So exciting, eh? LOL My little bike trailer was full with all the boxes plus another smaller fan cos the 20" fan is very nice but NOISY! And I think the in laws, being Ladies of a Certain Age and from a place where it is winter will need a fan...

If you saw our place at the moment, you would wonder that it is supposed to be clean and tidy and ready for the invading mongol hordes (well ok, MiL and one of her sisters and then two Canadians). Also the table and chairs I want so we can sit down and dine like civilised people not savages with their computers in front of them? Well I rather thought that a delivery charge of $80 was pretty steep, particularly given the setting is very small (apartment sized) and the place is only 3 miles away. I would load the stuff on my bike trailer but even a table a metre across is about 20cm too wide to get in, let alone four chairs....

Hopefully by tomorrow night I will have everything, no, most things under control. Our bed will be in the study (which will be tidy as much as a 3mX3.5m room with a bed, two bookshelves, one large chrome set of shelves and a desk can be) along with our clothes and two beds will be installed in the bedroom (obviously not king sized beds). Cross fingers for me!

I shall show off stuff soon. Well eventually :-)


Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Most Beautiful Socks in the World! part 2

G'day again all!

OK, I am ready to do battle with the Flickr beast. Can't believe that I didn't grok it before but well that is life!

Here are the socks being coy, from the side:

And from all sorts of angles including closeups! Sorry to those on dial-up....






The cast off will have to be blogged separately cos I knitted the second one at a knitting meetup and forgot to take pictures as I went. Doh! I'll have to re-create it for you. I'm told it is unewesual and diffrent and mebbe even noice!


Toe up version of the Kaibashira sock (Notions, Ravelry). I knitted it to the pattern, four less stitches on the sole and then increased sort of in pattern for the gusset. I did my now standard variant on Cat Bordhi's heel-tecture, which is similar to my variant on the Beaudelaire heel created by Cookie A. I played around with the placement of the pattern around the heel shaping - I really wanted to have just one garter row on either side of it but alas my foot length did not cooperate and I had to split the pattern halfway through the repeat. Still, it worked out just fine, eh?

Yarn: Ellen's Halfpint Farm Wool Bamboo. No colourway listed. Bought at Stitches.

Excuse me whilst I indulge myself. It is my blog, after all.



The backs of TMBSITW!

Originally uploaded by natiel3

Oh dear - how tedious! Do I really have to blog one pic at a time using Flickr? Surely not!

But the socks are pretty

The Most Beautiful Socks in the World!

G'day all!

So you are still waiting for pics of Yosemite. Hopefully I can distract you with pics of The Most Beautiful Socks in the World!

It is easy to tell when I am enamoured of a project. I take LOTS of pics of the finished item and then I foist them onto you!

(That is assuming I can work out how to get Flickr pics here - should be easy but I am not grokking it cos I can't figure out how to get the right size pic here. Let's see if this works - I am used to writing my own html code to get pics up not having blogger do it for me)

kaibashira sock

Well I get a link but no pic in the preview! What is with that? It looks ok except for the javascript (about which I have no clue whatsoever!).

'Scuse - I'll try posting instead and see what it says. Nope, that ain't working on my machine! Maybe I'll get rid of the javascript, see if that works now...


How about I try writing the html myself, see if that works... but what a pain!
kaibashira sock

Nope, that ain't working either. How's about we try seeing what Flickr says. I've authorised blogger to access the pages (click the button saying "blog this!" on the pics and it takes you to a set up page. After you've authorised it, you can blog directly from Flickr but HOW TEDIOUS! One pic at a time!).

OK, I think I have it now. I need the jpg, which I don't have at the moment. Let's see if this works.



OK, back in another post with the rest of the pics - be warned, there are lots! And lots to come of Yosemite and Tahoe...but the latter will be on Victorian, On the Move


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meet Ainsley

G'day all!

I am such a naughty blogger! It is Thursday and I haven't blogged since last week, before we went to Yosemite! Bet you are waiting for the pics too...

I am a naughty slacker cos I will have to use Flickr as my image host from tomorrow onwards. This means working out how to link to it and seeing if the pics turn out nicely. ie I have a learning curve to go through. If I get enthused, I might even redo old blog posts so that I can get stuff off my old image host. (It keeps filling up - it is a shared resource and someone keeps finding a few spare kb and enthusiastically filling them with stuff. This means DH doesn't get his mail = cranky DH.)

So without further ado, I give you Ainsley!

Or at least her fleece.

Ainsley is a corriedale ewe from Serenity Farms. She has had twins these last two springs. Her fleece is quite dark with grey hairs through it. It was finer last year but is more typically corrie this year. I've washed it all up and put it away for the nonce - I have to tidy up and get rid of a heap of stuff (hence the destash on recycled yarns. They are nice yarns but noone wants them, not even me! LOL).

I have a most bee-yoo-tee-full pair of socks to show off. I've apparently created a new cast off for them. And I've spun up a bit of sock yarn too. But those must wait! I have to get some training stuff done first - I am running a workshop in knitting in the round (emphasis on magic loop) on Saturday and I have to get a sample or two going.


Friday, June 13, 2008

The most beautiful sock in the world

G'day all!

I have a little traffic jam of pictures now, so I have to get a blog post or two out.

I've been working on this sock pattern. I *heart* it. (Gosh I hate saying I *heart* something but in this case...)

Here's the toe. At this point I fell in lerv with this sock. Embarrassing but true. It is such girly stuff, the colours, the pattern. Every now and then I remember that I love mermaid colours. The yarn is from Ellen's Halfpint Farm. BTW, the whole sock is done and the second one is begun but you have to wait to see it.

I am as always doing the sock toe up, even though the pattern is top down. I have done a very unusual treatment at the top of the sock. It is waaaaay funky, but you have to wait to see it when I've finished the pair. I am being a bit slow on getting the second sock done as I am trying to make a heap of stitchmarkers to sell and getting a whole chunk of Blue Moon's Sheep 2 Shoe spun up (as is my current habit, I am doing it fine and it is taking FOREVER to spin up). Then I can make my first ever pair of handspun socks. They will even be superwash. Hooray!

This weekend we plan to go to Yosemite. We have no idea where we will stay cos the online booking places say "yes, rooms are available" and when we try to book, suddenly there are no rooms available! What is the point of that?


Recycled yarn to go!

G'day all!

I need to reduce the size of my stash. Last year I stocked up on sweaters at the thrift shop, thinking we would have a long, cold winter and that they would keep me occupied and in plenty of yarn. Well plenty of yarn is right, but since we've to San Jose I won't need a quarter of what I have. Also I've worked out that certain blends disagree with me, like those with lots of angora. They make me sneeze.

So I am going to start getting rid of some of the recycled yarn I have. It is mostly wool/nylon/etc blend, silk/angora/nylon/wool and angora/nylon/wool. It may have KNOTS in it. It may need another wash and a little intimate time with a tin to help unkink it. It is cheap yarn but I usually don't knot short lengths together for spit splicing later on (unless it is cashmere and I am keeping the remaining cashmere!). If I haven't listed the approx length of the yarn, it is because I am lazy and don't want to count it all, or even a representative sample, but for you I will! Just ask me if you have any questions Postage will be by USPS - I've tried UPS and it took a month instead of a fortnight for stuff to reach Oz. It will be a charge per ounce (heavens to betsy, move to metric please!) and I usually do not put the yarn in a box as the box weighs more than the yarn does = extra cost (why yes, I do have Scottish blood in me!).

Oh note that the colours are not going to be accurate on your monitor - I can only get them within coo-ee on my monitor. This laptop screen is dodgy for colour reproduction. So if you buy or swap something, it might not look exactly as it does on the screen. About the only option for payment is paypal (unless you are in Oz and I charge Oz dollars for you - then we can do a direct credit. Not game to do direct credit in the US - system).

Blue speckly angora/nylon/wool blend. 145m/159y. 105g/3.75oz. Chunky.

Nice and warm! Soft and fuzzy. One skein is loosely plied against itself (the bottom one). I planned to make mittens or a hat out of this.

Blue speckly angora/nylon/wool blend. 200m/215y. 69g/2.4oz. Sport weight. (Top skein in pic) Unplied version of the above. If you knit two strands of it you will get about the same chunky weight.

Pink, raspberry and grey/coal angora blend. 300m/325y. 100g/3.6oz. 198m/215y. 68g/2.4oz.

The smaller skein has more raspberry in it. This is a very soft angora/nylon/wool blend. It feels lovely :-)

Purple, magenta and grey silk/angora/nylon/wool blend. 260m/285y. 110g/3.9oz. Sportweight/DK.

This has been dyed so that the middle part is mostly grey. One end is heavily dyed, the other lightly. I think it should come up quite prettily in a scarf or hat or two.

Emerald green angora/wool/nylon blend (soft, VERY green, lord knows why I bought it!),
200g/ two plied fingering weight, will knit up to a heavier weight due to angora content. Nicer green than the photo - camera hates pure colours and no amount of twiddling makes them noice.

Sunny light apricot wool/nylon. Shetland-type yarn. Prettier than the pic shows, has subtle tweedy effect.

320g/11.4oz fingering/laceweight

apricotty beige wool/cotton/acrylic blend sportweight
Approx 210g/6.7oz

beige tweedy wool blend sportweight
Approx 290g/10.7oz

If you are interested in any of these, I am happy to swap for fleece (fine :-), soft wool/cotton yarns, white/cream/pale coloured woollen yarn for dyeing, even $ (most of what I have listed I want at least $15 for). This is all stuff that is lovely but not for me.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Me want!

G'day all!

So I am trawling the innernet looking for a pattern for a baby jumper. It just so happens that the yarnharlot today asked what is everyone's favourite baby sweater. How conweenient!

So I am trawling through the links and looking stuff up on ravelry and ME WANT! (Ravelry link and pattern link). Stuff the baby I want one for ME!

(OK, I'm a geek. And a nerd.)

Speaking of which, what do you think makes a kid go off the rails? I was a pathetically nerdy kid with no self esteem yet I always wore the things I liked, not necessarily what was fashionable (actually, same deal these days) and always resisted peer pressure. Funny sort of lack of self-confidence, wouldn't you say? Just cos other people did stuff didn't mean I had to. Quite often, I'd push the other way instead and do the dorky things. I was overprotected and quite possibly spoilt. It never occurred to me to rebel.

Did you ever rebel? Do you regret having rebelled or not rebelled?

Odd question but something came up and I have no experience in rebellion. Passive aggression, yes, subversiveness, yes but not rebellion.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Me so lucky!

G'day all!

Mesa got a parcel!

Mmmm, Posh Yarn (Emily), a wrap for the evenings here (I'm told the sea breeze will work all summer and I am really hoping it does, otherwise it will be unbearably warm), a pretty candle and some stitch holders! (Maybe now I'll stop using my Denise set as stitch holders?). From the lovely Dreamcatcher. Gosh it is good to have friends :-) I just wish we had more moulah so I could send more parcels. But that is up to me at this stage - gotta find a job! I am also looking at selling stuff on Etsy or on my old yarn site, which hasn't been updated for a year now - I still have pics of yarn and fibre I dyed before I left Oz to put up but considering I split the boxes of yarn and tops between my friends, I can't find out who has what cos they don't know either....

I also got some fleece a couple of days ago - must download pics, assuming I haven't lost the camera cable again.

I rode to a mall yesterday and discovered that a shoe shop there has the sort of shoes Nathan likes. It is only 8 miles there and back but I was whacked by the time I got home, and very hungry cos I forgot to take anything to eat with me. Today I repeated the trip (again with a lack of lunch), this time with Nathan, so he could buy shoes. He only had one pair, bought in Denver just before we hopped on the Californian Zephyr and took off to Chicago (not California). That pair of shoes has seen a lot of places - Chicago, St Paul (MN), New Ulm (MN), Washington DC, Virginia, Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Rockies, Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, Vancouver, Victoria (Vanc Island), Edmonton, Winnipeg (briefly), Toronto (briefly), Waterloo, San Jose and surrounds, Lake Tahoe.... Anyway, these poor shoes are worn out so we got not just one but TWO pairs of shoes for him today. And I could've bought three hundred dollars of shoes without blinking cos they have really funky shoes there of a sort that I love. Flat but funky.

Time for beddy byes. I'll go and read a little more of a Dame Frevisse murder mystery. I've been ploughing my way through a number of murder mysteries over the last year - they are usually light and fluffy and most thoroughly enjoyable.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Done things and things to do

G'day all!

In the last month, I have knitted one pair of socks, two single socks and 1.01 pairs of socks. You've seen the pink socks but you didn't see these singletons.

panda silk sock
This panda silk sock nearly killed me. TOO MANY STITCHES and rounds. OK it is the holy blessed sock touched by the Yarnharlot herself but this sock is going to wait for a LOOOONG time before it gets any form of mate. I hated every stitch after the first 50 rounds. At least it is a summerweight sock so I got to make it short.
panda silk sock

maizy sock
This second sock of a "pair" of maizy socks was an experiment. I set up a nice pattern on the first sock waaaaay back in ?January? and it came out all lacy.
maizy sock
This sock I took up to Tahoe and got bored with trying to reinvent the pattern without having the other sock with me, so I did whatever I felt like. It ended up with a lot of holes in the leg from double yarn overs and k&p into the yarnover on the next round.
maizy sock

In other news, in 20 days my MiL and AiL will be here for a visit.

I think we need some stuff.

Like beds. We only have our too small futon at the moment. It resides on the floor. We need a new mattress anyway cos Nathan's calves dangle off this mattress - his feet get propped up by a neatly folded and wrapped pile of polar fleece bought for projects in Colorado. Once we moved to SJ we didn't need to create warm and fleecey things anymore. But a new mattress would be good and eventually a bed to go with it. We want to make one but space is at a premium here.

I'm thinking of getting a queen size futon-style mattress but nothing with latex in it. One of my sisters is allergic to latex and given the family history of allergies, I don't want to risk it. Then again I am also going to get an air mattress for visitors along with having the old futon and I'm guessing air mattresses have latex in them. But I am not going to be sleeping on it. ((Does a kind local have a mattress we can borrow for the nonce?) We need to get a frame for the current futon anyway - it would be nice to have a couch and also our visitors are not the type to be comfortable on the floor even with a mattress between them and it....

Plus having a table and chairs might be good. We currently have two kitchen chairs and two bar chairs - the bar chairs were great in Colorado but we don't have a large bench in our current place. Nowhere to sit and eat dinner bar our armchairs.

Did I say we are moving too? Not that we have a place yet but this place is going to charge an arm and a leg for a not that nice space, and they are going to charge basically the whole security deposit in repainting fees and cleaning. They had better not gouge us for the extra month of rent they made us pay....


Saturday, June 07, 2008

A flickr meme

G'day all!

I got this from mrspao. Blame her ;-)

1. We love the dresses, Lynne!, 2. That's a BIG Noise from a Lil lamb..:O))), 3. Old Barn on Snuggs Road in Norwood, NC, 4. Little Girl in Turquoise Sea, 5. Puss in Boots and Gingy, 6. Apples Banana Smiley, 7. Ben Venue Gloaming, 8. Daring Bakers: January Challenge: Lemon Meringue Pie, 9. Tree Goddess, 10. Sign of Life II, 11. Multi-Dimensional night view, 12. IMG_3847

Here are the rules:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page of results, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

(You might also want to copy and paste the URLs to acknowledge the pics too!)

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Some of those questions - who is my celebrity crush? Heck! I dunno! Let's just think of some movie characters I liked. Oh yes.... My favourite food? My favourite colour? Only ONE of these? Holy guacamole, I have problems when asked my favourite anything. Maybe I am just indecisive....

Note that I have cleverly avoided showing anything I've knitted, yet again. I have a queue now but I have blogger's block and for some reason won't download the pics off the camera to edit them (mebbe cos I know they will not be colour accurate).


Friday, June 06, 2008


G'day all!

I discovered something recently. OK, I discovered lots of things - that is what life is all about! But I discovered something about my knitting.

I learned to knit from my Mum. I presume she learned to knit from her Aunty Mae. I knit in what I thought was a typical "western" or English style.

Apparently I don't.

I throw the yarn but I never take my hand off the needle to do so. I hold the needle between thumb and middle+ring fingers of my right hand (hand over the top, not like a pencil) and I flick the yarn around the needle with my index finger. My pinkie provides the tensioning.

I guess this is why continental knitting isn't that much quicker for me. It also explains why I can knit a jumper in a week even with baulky needles. I don't take my hand off the right hand needle. I just flick my way along a row. I don't need to watch my knitting when I do garter stitch, stocking stitch or ribbing or moss. Simple patterns I can feel my way through - my left thumb and index finger and my needle tell me if something is wrong. Purling isn't an issue because I hold the yarn in front. Indeed except that I am obviously throwing the yarn and holding it in my right hand, I almost look like I am knitting continental. It is different to the way that the Yarnharlot knits. I should get a video of me knitting, but when I am under scrutiny I get nervous and shaky. Stupid brain.

Mum taught me to knit the slow way (hand off, move the yarn around with the whole hand) but I got annoyed with taking so long to knit so I practised her style. It took a while, probably a couple of weeks of knitting but now it is so engrained that throwing the yarn with my whole hand feels wrong!

I can do continental (and combined) but I mostly revert to my english style unless I think about doing it a different way. I am running a class on continental knitting tomorrow - just as well I've been practising! :-)

On a different note, thanks to those who suggested where I could find little shopping trolleys. I sat on the light rail for over an hour to get to Mountain View then rode up to Elephant Pharm but they only had totally fold up ones for more than I was willing to pay. I eventually rode all the way back to Purlescence (horray - finally got there! They have noice yarn!) and then back down Wolff Road to HP, where I caught the bus after checking out the huge Asian supermarket (holy cow!). I found a $2 shop along the way that had prettier and much cheaper versions of the fold up trolley so I bought one of those to try. I'd prefer a rigid one but this will do for the nonce.

BTW, we are SO GLAD that we are not going to live where we are for much longer. The kids upstairs have been rampaging at all hours and we are going to have to have a word with their parents (I wasn't feeling well the other night and one was running around at TWO AM!). If they were quiet and we only heard the odd thundering of feet it would be ok, but we are talking hours of bangs and thuds from about 7pm to midnight, and our roof (which is full of asbestos) creaks and groans and it is hard to sleep when an enormous crash happens above your head.... Plus today I went to change the sugar water in the hummer feeder and it was broken. It had a hole in it. That's odd! Maybe a bird hit it? Then Nathan heard a weird noise and discovered that the guy in the next apartment along and upstairs from us was firing an air rifle. I wonder what he had been using as target practice?

NOT impressed! Nathan went to see the guy but he eyeballed Nathan (who was holding the birdfeeder) and when and turned the stereo up louder. We complained to the apartment management. It breaches the lease to use a firearm (even if it is a beebee gun or an air rifle) and imagine if he graduates to using a real rifle and decides to take pot shots! Plus the area behind our apartment is the dog running area. What happens if a dog runs out at the wrong time and gets shot? It could blind or kill it. Or a child. Not that I have any kids in mind....


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hooray for an FO!

G'day all!

I have been very slack getting pics of the Drops tshirt (81-6) for you.

Indeed, I don't know if this one counts at all, but at least you can see it is wearable!

(Scuse any colour problems - I cannot get it slightly right whilst using the laptop)
(I didn't realise that I am that funny pink colour that kids use for skin tone. Well now I do know!)

I'm playing dead - legs in the air, etc. I might even get better pics for you ;-)

I have started editing the gazillions of pics from Tahoe (there's over 800 in the local album, never fear I won't be putting *that* many up but I do have about a hundred that I reckon are nifty. Be warned if you are on dial-up - don't look at Victorian, On the Move (my travels blog) :-)


Monday, June 02, 2008


G'day all!

So here we were, planning our trip to Colorado in a couple of weekends, working out how much it will cost and when the train runs and then we find out....

The train is NOT running through the Rockies when we want/have to go! It is being diverted around the Rockies and through southern Wyoming.


The trip through the Rockies is apparently spectacular. Nathan google-earthed it last night and it goes through a lot of canyons, including canyons that cars don't access. We had been looking forward to this ever since it became obvious that we had to move to California. Amtrak says that the temporary route is also spectacular with wide vistas and access to places that are rarely seen from trains but we want to go through the Colorado Rockies. *pout*

Mutter grumble. Looks like I am missing out on Estes Park AGAIN! Last year I missed it by a week after our visas took two weeks not two days to process. Plus we wanted to catch up with friends and see the beautiful scenery there. We could fly across but that is not as efficient CO2-wise and nowhere near as interesting (but a LOT faster) plus we would have to deal with homeland security again - they don't like people travelling on foreign passports (obviously terrorists!) and always take us aside to search us (except when five chaps had set the alarms off with their belts or whatever and their holding area was full).


(Knitting content one day! Honest!)


Sunday, June 01, 2008

I want #268

G'day all!

Still no knitting pics. Lots of knitting happening.

I want a shopping trolley so's I don't have to ride to the shops every single time. I want something likethis. But the US doesn't like the idea of walking to the shops - one must drive and therefore the only little shopping jeeps that are available are crufty folding ones (either fabric or metal and given that I've seen a number of homeless women pushing the powder-coated or bright chrome metal laundry carts, as they are marketed here, I don't really want one of them cos then the cops will pull me up too and say I'm a vagrant or some crap).

If I lived in Australia I could use the one there, or buy a really pretty one cos they had heaps of pretty ones a year ago. If I lived in the UK, I could buy a pretty one there too. But cos I live in the USA and it is too advanced for this walking to the shops bizzo, I can't get one here.

(OK, I could buy this one but I don't like the plaid on it, yes yes, I could re-cover it but that would cost more $$ cos yarn is not that cheap and enough yarn for a shopping trolley would be the same as for a jumper. Sewing? I don't have a machine and I know how slowly I handsew stuff, though I do a beautiful job if I do say so myself. No shonky jobs here!).

Grump, grump grump.


Horrible discovery #321


G'day all!

Potato skins are not digestible by humans.

(Do I have to spell it out for you how I found out?)

(Real knitting content soon, once I find the camera and take some pics and wrangle the uploader to work, particularly the Ravelry stuff with flickr....)