Showing posts from November, 2008

Much to be thankful for

G'day all!

This is our second Thanksgiving in the States. This year I noticed a greater theme of thankfulness here - I guess the financial meltdown has given people some reminders about priorities....

(Pics are all a year old, from our Thanksgiving trip to Minnesota. Kudos to those who know where in MN!)

So what am I thankful for? Pretty much everything except the zit that is trying to erupt on my cheek. We have a roof over our heads, we can pay the bills, we can afford to eat well, I can indulge myself in my hobbies and make enough money each month to pay for most of my yarn and fleece habit (except oopsies like Rhinebeck).

I am thankful for good friends who invite us into their houses and feed us, and offer us a place to stay,

who share their lives with us, and provide pets for us to pat and play with.

We tend to forget our good fortune, ignoring our blessings and hoarding our miseries close to our chests, forgetting kindnesses and the beautiful world around us.

What are you thankf…

Twas the night

G'day all!

Twas the night before Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving, and all through the house... the upstairs neighbours are rampaging and squeaking like a mouse (a REALLY BIG mouse). Actually, this night will be very long. The sun sets at 5 now, but cos it RAINED all day and the clouds were lowering, it was almost full dark at 5pm. Reminds me of the worst weather days back 'ome.

I have to make pah for tomorrow. I am wondering if I have enough pie crust mix to make an apple pie and a punkin pah. I made pumpkin pah last year and it almost worked (given that getting the ingredients for a gf/df one was difficult in New Ulm). This year I have a good crust mix, I just have to get the rest right.

I was a bad, naughty spankies girl today. I went up to Bobbin's Nest and bought some nice material to play with. It is pretty but I don't have pics (see abovemention of rain). Most of their fabrics seem to be $8.50 a yard, well all the ones I picked up were, which is pretty …


a herring!

G'day all!

Toof is good. Hooray!

Last week I showed off a box. Leanne in Adelaide and Cathy in Kambalda both guess it was a sewing machine.

And they would be right!

It's a Singer (gosh, you can't tell?) 7468? Hmm, gotta go find the box, which is full of CVM fleece.... It works. It sews. It didn't come with a heap of bits and bobs but we are coping just fine.

I have a soft spot for Singers. I learned to sew on my Mum's old Singer. It was something like a 1969 model, only a little younger than me. I kept it after she died - my sisters both had their own machines. It finally expired with a pop and a sigh 5 or 6 years ago - it popped and the smoke got out. I nearly cried - this machine was Mum's and was a part of her (just like *the* mixing bowl that I dropped two or three years ago - I did cry over that!). The Janome back 'ome just hasn't got the same history, even if I did sew my wedding dress on it.

Now here is the set up for a question f…

Eye candy Monday - a new sock

G'day all!

Toofy-peg is fixed. The novocaine/whatever was pina colada flavoured - much nicer than the bitter plain one back 'ome, only I can't feel half my tongue, part of my pharynx or most of my left lower jaw. Except of course the tooth itself, which is throbbing! Between that and swallowing being a trial (now with added the drool from the numb side), I fear I won't be much fun to be around for the next while.

So let's have some Eye Candy Monday instead.

Here's my Kroy sock, from yarn I dyed and then overdyed cos the first time around was clown barf - you guys know I *love* bright colours but I had dyed this yarn severely wrong.... The second dyeing is not pretty to my eyes but parts of it are very special indeed, at least to me.

Look at this bit of yarn. It is plasticine coloured - remember how when you mixed plasticine, it turned purple with blobs of other colour? (the bigger pic will show it better)

If I can reproduce this effect, I'll be rather happy…


G'day all!

In fifteen minutes last night, disaster struck not just once but twice:
a) the filling that has been giving me problems fell off!
b) I stabbed myself in the rib joints with both the underwires in my bra.


So now I have a whopping big hole on the side of a tooth and can't eat easily (not that I could before the filling fell off), and I have intercostal muscle spasms (the intercostals are the muscles between your ribs) so I keep thinking I'm having a heart attack (silly goose - if I press in certain spots, it releases the muscle for a while). But will that ruin my weekend?


I am going for a drive today with DH. We will go check out Natural Bridges and find the Monarch butterflies we've been told are overwintering there. Plus I shall visit a yarn shop (= happy me) that apparently has a good bakery next to it (= happy DH). Well that is the plan anyway.

Why am I not seeing a dentist asap? Cos I can't find one that is open on Saturdays! Heck I couldn'…

An ancient WIP

G'day all!

Many, many moons ago, I used to hang out at the city branch of Marta's yarns (alas now gone, along with Marta herself). Marta dyed yarn. She loved colour. She made lots of beautiful yarn. I often wished I could do some sort of apprenticeship with Marta. Anyway, I would fondle yarn and daydream, and occasionally actually buy some. One of my favourites was the thick and thin spun hand-dyed yarn.

The other week I was digging through my stash when I came across an old scribble lace project. It must be about three years old. It's made of Marta's yarns. Well I took it along to the craft faire to knit on - makes a nice difference to socks! The jump from 2.5mm needles and throwing the yarn to 15mm needles and continental was nice, if confusing, too.

People exclaimed over it, one little girl was bold enough to ask how much it would be... Given that I spent at least $33 on the yarn, it was a bit out of her price range.

It and the nuno-felted scarves were the hi…

Reticule, reticula!

G'day all!

I have been working on these socks for a while. I finally finished them a bit over a week ago. I thought I'd get the pattern written up by now but nope! I am such a slacker.

I call them reticula (from the Latin for "net").

The yarn colour is what happens when I skein up a loooooooong skein to try out some new to me dyes. The yarn is Trekking Natura, and I am not totally sure that I love it, but that goes for most of the trekking yarns. The colours are great but the wool is a bit coarser than I can tolerate.

Still it is a pair of socks! Hooray! I've started on the next pair - the Kroy I dyed up. Oh am I excited about this one! If I can repeat, vaguely, the same sort of dyeing on the next yarns I dye up, I will be over the moon! Then there is Icarus, still plugging along, the cardigan I've been commissioned to make, the Christmas socks and jumper for DH, the spinning I want to do, the shawl for my SiL, the red mitts for one of my sisters....


A most mysterious box arrived

G'day all!

Yesterday I was sitting at home, knitting away or reading something and generally flaked out when two men appear at the gate. "Fedex," one calls. (May I say at this point that the Fedex uniforms look very smart whilst the brown and gold UPS ones, well let's just say they are much less attractive.)

So I open the door fully and they come in the gate of the patio and with a "This is for you! Careful, it's heavy," dump a box in my arms. "Crikey. What the hell is this?" I wonder as I say, "Thanks!"

Here's the box in question:

Here's a hint of what was inside:

What did I get?

(I'm so excited! Nathan is too cos he wanted it as well.)


Love in the dye pot

G'day all!

I've been finding me some love in the dye pot recently. Mmmm.

Sock yarn, how many ways are there to make thee glow?

Superwash merino in forestal:

Nice and cushy yarn. Mmmm....

80% merino/20% bamboo (almost sportweight or what Australians call 5 ply) in watercolour:

Such a lush, plus yarn!

75% merino/25% nylon in cherryplum:

(both sold, thanks!)

A different 75%/25% blend in gothica:

(both spoken for)

All of these have enough yardage in each skein to make a pair of socks for a woman (say size nine or so).

All of them are self-striping.

All of them are looking for new homes.

Since I am just starting up again and still working on finding out which yarn bases are good, I'm underpricing these just to get them to a (hopefully) good home. I want at least USD18 for each skein (note there are two skeins of gothica and two skeins of cherryplum but one skein is enough for socks). (One skein of cherryplum is shortish - only about 320m instead of at least 350m so we'll make t…

Eye Candy Monday

G'day all!

Here's some pretties for you - shoulda posted them a bit earlier given that part of the world has already eaten lunch on Tuesday!

Gerberas are such great photo fodder. Almost as good as strawflowers. Not that I have strawflowers today.

And even more eye candy!

What more could I want than a charming chap holding a stalk of one of my favourite veggies, brussels sprouts! (YMMV)

You want fibre? Well there's plenty around here but no new pics to tease you with! No new pics edited... but I have been dyeing up self-striping sock yarn.... that might give you a hint of what is to appear on my shop! Plus I have started stocking my Etsy shop too... (ignore the banner problem - I'll fix that soon!)

Finally, since I've had a stupid blogthing hanging around for a week, you get to see it too. Not that I think the first comment is true but a couple of then hit pretty darn close to the bone...

The Castle Personality Test

You have no problem diving into new experiences. Yo…


G'day all!

I thought I had an Idea that would be great for the craft faire. I was making Yet Another Kid's Hat or Bag (Purse) (did you know that round bags and hats and bowls look very similar until the brim treatment?) when I stopped increasing after two increase rounds (oh, I start with a Turkish cast on of four stitches and knit from the crown of the hat down) and made a pouch, then added 5 i-cord tentacles to it.

All the yarn I used was feltable, so I chucked them into the washing machine and created


I though they were fantastic and for $8 each, rather affordable. Alas, only one found a new home out of the 7 or so that I made.

You too can make tentaculars! I would not recommend them for little children/babies who still shove everything in their gobs, nor for cats and dogs that like to chew on things and eat yarn.

Grab some feltable wool. Grab needles that are a few sizes bigger than you would normally use for knitting the yarn. Cast on four loops (a total of 8 …


G'day again all!

Kelly is after me for the lamingtons recipe.

She is going to kill me when she finds out how easy it is. You just need a little more coordination than I have.

You will need:

pale/white cake made in a square/rectangular tin
strawberry or raspberry jam (I used a mix of both! Devil!)
Dessicated coconut, two cups or so. I'm told dessicated coconut is not the usual sort in the States but I found it easily at Wholefoods.

For chocolate lamingtons

1/2 cup cocoa
2 1/2 cups sugar
tablespoon of water
optional 30g butter/substitute (I used buttery sticks)

For jelly/pink lamingtons
one packet of jelly/jello (pink, raspberry is my preference)
1/3 or 0.33 of the amount of hot water needed for the jelly
1/3 or 0.33 of the amount of cold water needed for the jelly
(I can do fractions and decimal in the one recipe!)

Lamingtons were originally made with a sponge cake base, but I am Not Very Good at Making (Edible) Sponge Cakes (ie I make kitchen sponges instead). So I grab a packet of GF/DF c…


G'day all!

Recently I've been trying my hand at nuno felting. This form of felting uses a backing material (in my case silk chiffon, with one china silk attempt) and wool felted onto/through the backing material. It uses the classic wet felting method (rolling) not fulling (as in throwing a knitted or crocheted item into the washing machine).

I took all of these off to the craft faire last week and people exclaimed and ooh and ahhed over them but NOT ONE sold! They thought they would be hard to care for - given that they get bashed about, thrown, soaked in water and soap, they can be handwashed like you would wash any other woolly item. I use shampoo for my stuff. My asking price was not a whole lot either, nothing like what artisans apparently get in stores and on etsy.

So here they are:

This is one of my favourites, even though it is not in "my colours."

I just love the way the top has wriggled and felted.

This black window pane is pretty cute. The top is "d…