Sunday, October 28, 2007


Yes finally, after registering last year I finally have a store up and running in Etsy.
I'd left it so long that I had to get them to unblock my registration. Oh my, just add that to the list of things I haven't done that I should.
So head to the zephyrama shop and see what you can find. At the moment there are only a few things, but as I work out how to use the camera (like who reads or even keeps the manual handy?) the pictures should get better and I will take advantage of daylight savings to head over to the store and take some decent pictures. There are plenty more to come for kids and women and then the monsters.... oh the monsters.

And notification of a deadline. In three weeks (and she's counting) Zgal and Daddy head off to the snow to do some possum trapping (all in the name of research, they are released don't fear, but they won't shave them for me to spin the fur) and she told me she needs new jumpers.
While it may be November-December this fool hardy duo will be on the mountains, on the boulder fields and other than last year it always snows where they go.
Last year I spent the days before they went making longjohns and bank robber disguises for Zgal, I just hope she hasn't grown too much.
But it means that all socks are stalled as I try and get the red jumper finished in time. Just the front and back to go as I've divided already for the arms, but those sleeves, I hate sleeves, but maybe in the round they will be easier to cope with.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

sliding in some stash

I made the decision a while ago not to go buying yarn. Well not new yarn, stuff found at the opshops was fine, but no bulk purchases until I'd cleared some stash.
Well I managed to get some Knit Picks Landscapes Socks, but I could slide it into the stash without too much stress.
You see I bought it second hand in a round about way.
I did a search on Ravelry for this particular yarn and up popped a few that were for sale or trade, so trade I did.
So really it was second hand and not a bust out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

i can't help myself

Last night in my dreams people were breaking into the house and I was standing at the door trying to push it shut and the bang of the door in the dream kept waking me up. I had the dream over and over, but with slight variations, sometimes the front door, sometimes a window, but the end result was little sleep and a head that didn't make much sense this morning.
So I rang in sick. I can't work with a brain like spaghetti, but nor can I sew, so I sat on the lounge and watched Dr Phil and Oprah. This has just reinforced my conviction that I'm not missing anything when it comes to daytime television.

Anyway I ended up reaching down for the socks for Jar which are normally in a basket next to the lounge. There weren't there, they were in the car, but rather than walk out to the driveway and retrieve them I cast on with the Tofutsies instead. I'm doing the tidal wave (I'd do links to ravelry and the pattern and yarn, but as it isn't open to the public yet. . . ) pattern. I've done four pattern repeats on the leg and I'm half way down the heel and it's knitting up extremely quickly. I had cast on previously for the same pattern, but the needles fell out so I ripped back when I go my new knitpicks.
I fooled around trying to take shots and this is the best I could get to show the stitch pattern. Note the lego on the arm of the chair, I rarely spend days off doing housework, that's why I had children, they can do it.

Tidal Wave uses the old s1 k1, psso, but I've used a SSK instead and rather than a plain stocking stitch foot, I'm going to do the pattern down the top of the foot instead.
So much for finishing what I've got in progress so I can get stuck into Knitting Classics.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

too busy to knit

Why, because I have new books.
Firstly Madame Avery's Knitting Classics, then Fitted Knits by Mrs Japel and Linda Kopp's Plush-O-Rama.
I've been lusting after Knitting Classics for a while and was dicked around by two different book sellers until I hit on Fishpond and now the book is mine.
I really like it.
Usually a book of patterns has a few I'd like to do, and less that could be done without any maths thanks to my over abundant boobs underpinned by a fairly normal (although soft thanks to children) middle.
But every adult pattern bar one would fit and most I would consider doing with a few I want to start right now.
But I have mountains of socks to finish first.
Seriously Knitting Classics is a must have, for my style at any rate.
Fitted Knits is okay. Heavy weight, quick knits, most not really my taste but a few are, although there will be maths involved for every knit. But as most are top down and in the round, that's an easy thing to do.
The third book is one I've had for ages, but a few months ago I was given Softies (hiding in the studio at the moment) to review for the paper.
Loved Softies, love looking at the patterns and then letting the imagination tweak here, lengthen there, fiddle other there, so I dragged out Plush to take to the studio.
And speaking of the studio I've been out there a lot lately photographing stock as I've finally decided to steam ahead with etsy.
Although I registered last year I didn't do anything so armed with the camera I started taking shots.
But my photo skills are bad, photoshop is worse, so I'm going to have to tweak a lot to get decent pics.
From doing twice monthly markets for the past three years I know that the look and placement of clothing, monsters and bags is the thing that gets people in and gets stock sold, so I'm pulling my hair out trying to get pics that really represent the clothing in particular.
Other than stealing a few kids and getting them to model I'm sort of stuck on how to do it all.

And the spoons, they are for a tea party!

Friday, October 19, 2007

still s(h)ocking and the maternity mezzanine

Pink Lorna's for myself, but only one foot done so far and look at the leftover from the skein. Then there is retro rib, also one foot so far, along with a sock for Jar from that scratchy Opal. I always seem to do one foot then start a completely different pair, then back to finish off. Stops me getting bored I suppose.
Except for the kids socks, I always manage to do a pair one after the other.
I've already done one pair for the Jar from this ball, but they were 48 stitches on 2.25mm and while he can wear them comfortably now, there won't be much time left before his foot gets too big.
So this pair, on 2.25mm, is being done on 54 stitches, the heel over 26 with the top of the foot wider than the bottom.
The pile of red is a DK jumper for the Zegal which I fooled around with pattern to knit circular. It will have a nice shawl collar and I've lengthened it a bit as well. Can't find the pattern at the moment, so thankfully I rewrote it in my notebook.

And now the shocking. A woman who works in the building, or should I say, did work in the building, was frog marched out of the place on Wednesday. Seems her crime is to stick up for herself when her boss started being nasty when she announced she was pregnant and when she returned from maternity leave.

She kept a journal, she made a complaint and thankfully she was in a union so for the past several months the HR department has been dealing with her union lawyer. But it didn't stop the general manager and our in-house HR person kicking her out on Wednesday. She was asked last week by the GM to stop diarsing any problems and she refused.
Not only has she been smart enough to keep a diary, she is also a bloody good worker.

Edited to add: This woman had five job offers by the end of the week. We'll miss her, she was damn good at her job.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

how i chose my cosy swap partner. . and love is an atomic

So how did I choose my Australian Knitters Group on Ravelry tea cosy swap partner. Well I didn't because I decided for a few reasons it wouldn't be fair.
One is I'm heading into the busy season with my side business. I'm sewing like mad and don't have time.
I've also got startitis. One example is my daughter's school cardigan that I started the year before she went to school.
She's now in Year 1, in the last term of year one. I even changed to knitting in the round with steeks for the front and arms, but can I get that last sleeve done. No.
And I'm having the strangest email confabs with spinning mills in china trying to get them to spin me huge amounts of yarn for a new business. I've been on a crash coarse in Chinglish, tex and nm spinning terminology as well as working out where to store hmm, cough, cough, kilos of wool, not to mention telling the fellow what's happening.
Also it wouldn't be fair, would it.
There I was in charge of the trained monkeys who were making the matches. I could have decided to pair myself up with (my idea) of the best and grooviest knitter. What power dangled at my fingertips!
No not fair, damn those code of ethics I live by.
And lastly, what about that style of kitchen.
That pic is the kitchen. On the other side is a bank of shelves and a cupboard. Not big enough to swing a cat. No real colour theme, no bench space. When preggers I can't do the washing up 'cause I don't fit in front of the sink.
Hell the spew green wall has cracks and cobwebs, the plaster has fallen off the walls, the only reason the doors are that blue is cause they were spew green originally and so dirty it was easier to paint them than clean them at 3am one morning when the bro in-law was set to visit. They don't even hang right.
Naturally when we moved in seven years ago we quickly had plans drawn up for extra bedrooms, a massive living area with a stainless steel bench (with an underbench fridge) on wheels, the biggest commercial sink you have ever seen and a commercial stove (yep I spend way too much time in restaurant kitchens). Naturally a few extra pregnancies got in the way and with the cost of childcare these days, no renos.
There is only one thing in my kitchen I like, the Atomic coffee maker that has a permanent place on the stove. I's love me Atomic so much, we have two, so that when he's away for work he takes his and I've still got mine.

Monday, October 15, 2007

a room of one's own

More like a shed.
I've seen beautiful photographs and flickr pages full of beautiful studios. Bookcases full of colour matched fabrics, ribbons on rolls, clean as a whistle.
Well live isn't really like that, is it.
So welcome to my shed.
And I mean shed.
It's a 1940s vintage shed. When I ripped out the workbench we discovered that the garage and bench was in place well before the concrete was laid down. The walls don't meet the ceiling and it's cold in winter and hot in summer.
But it's mine.
I've lined a fair bit of it, but keep everything in plastic bags and boxes. Well, again, some of it.
Out there is also a huge table, plenty of sewing machines and overlockers, enough wool to stock a shop, half a dozen knitting machines that work, several that don't and patterns and patterns galore.
And the best thing, it's mine. And I can lock myself inside and no-one can get in.
It's surrounded by bushes, trees and a palm, with a side window overgrown, and a window at the back that I can open up for air.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

re hooking

Look at what Lady* is wearing. Yes, that's a cotton hand crocheted cardigan and guessing by the colour I'm thinking late 60s, early 70s.
Well it fits the boobs so I nabbed it from the op shop, but it does need some work.
While I don't mind the collar and button bands look at those cuffs.
The sleeve are huge, but the cuffs, ugly, they are just too wide.
I was going to cut them off, thinking that I had found the seaming from cuff to sleeve, but before I hacked on in I checked with a workmate who is an experience hooker.
Seems the cuffs were done, joined up and then used as the foundation chain for the sleeves.
So a steeking I will go.
I'm aiming to have cuffs a little narrower than the button band.
Then the old gal needs a good clean and I have an out there cardi for summer. Considering I wear almost all black, this little number will go with everything!
* Lady has been part of the family for a decade or so. Normally she stands in the hall way wearing black with a velvet opera cloak on, ready to go out and haunt. She is a girly one, about the size of a 12 year old.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

how about answering my emails. . . .

Well it continues, I send an email to BD in the UK about their dodgy listing practises and guess what they ignored my email, well they did and didn't.
What I wrote:
Then why when I paid using my mastercard and I received an email stating that the order had gone thru, was it cancelled and my funds repaided into my account only to still have the book listed but at a higher price.
I received the email stating that it was no longer listed and immediately did a search on the site and found that it was listed at the higher price. While you did refund the cost, I have now incurred fees on that account to do with that initial transaction.
Considering you had accessed my account and the money was transferred I was under the impression that a transaction had taken place, particularly in regards to the confirmation email. This is not showing good faith and in my country at least is considered fraud and is illegal.
Please respond regarding your policies.

And their response:

Dear Jen,

I can confirm that your title was unavailable at the time of purchase. However, we could get hold of a few copies from a different supplier right after the refund was processed. You are welcome to place your new order.

Thank you,


Customer Service Advisor

The Book Depository Ltd

GRRR, right after the refund, like less than 30 minutes. Bite me. And what about the response about their policies.
So I've resent the email.

Monday, October 08, 2007

do not buy from these shops - fucking language warning

Not long ago I dived into Ebay and organised to buy Knitting Classic Style (i really lust after this one) and another sock book from seller Sysqs and paid by Paypal.
As most Paypalers would know, when you pay the store or individual gets the address from Paypal.
Now I've never had a problem and my Paypal account gets quite a beating. Not once has anything gone astray. I get stuff delivered to a post office box and despite the fact I may live in Australia, it's not the boonies down here.
All has been good until I dealt with Sysqs which has since sent me an email saying that the books had been sent back to them so they were refunding my money.
But they only refunded the purchase price of ONE book, that's right ONE book and of course weren't refunding postage. So I gave them negative feedback, I think DON'T BUY FROM THIS STORE may tell you what I think. I'm still trying to get refunded for the other purchase which was returned with the Knitting Classic, but they won't respond to emails.
Now that was last week, so on Friday I jumped onto the Book Depositary, the UK site with free postage. The exchange to pounds ain't great, but no postage, I'm there.
So I bought by MC the Knitted Classics for 10 pounds something.

Order ID: BDG-0891012-1091632

Product Name Quantity Item Price Line Charges Delivery due date
Knitting Classic Style: 35 Modern Designs Inspired by Fashion's Archives
(U158479576X ISBN: 9781584795766) 1 £10.07 £10.07 3 - 7 working days from 05-10-2007
Total Charges: £10.07

Not a problem, I whipped out the Master Card, paid and the money was taken from my account.

But a day later I got an email saying that they were refunding the money as:

I am terribly sorry to inform you that on this occasion we have been unable to fulfill part of your order as it is no longer available.
This line has been cancelled and a refund made to your card.

Notice the phrase This line has been cancelled.

Well now, lets have a look and see. . . ITS THE SAME RUDDY BOOK

So I can buy the book, at 4 pounds more and have to wear the fees and charges on the master card from the first payment. On top of having been defrauded by the other mob I've got the complete and utter fucking shits.

Friday, October 05, 2007

the sock vortex

Behind the washing machine, behind the lounge, behind the bed, behind every piece of furniture is a sock vortex.
How do I know? Every time I knit Jar a pair of socks one goes missing.
Never the bought socks with the holes in them, these seem to magically rise from the ashes of the garbage bin and end up in the sock drawer.
Tripy (my house trained gnome) is holding the surviving blue patonyle sock. 48 st, rib all the way down. Tripy's hat is one of the pair (relax I still have the other sock, it hasn't been sucked into a vortex yet) that I whipped up in the past few nights. It is a mix of left-over Heritage jigsaw with heels and toes in the blue patonyle.
The new onces are at least 2cm too long, but Jar still loves them. He had one on his foot walking around in the house waiting for me to finish the other one.
I've now got some Opal (forgotten how harsh that stuff is to knit) on the needles for him. I picked up two balls, both blues but different, for $20 total including postage from the bead and opal lady.
One croc sock for Zegal done, one started. My jaywalkers have stalled and I've cast on for Hedgerow socks for when I get bored of my everyday tweed.
I really shouldn't spend so much time on Ravelry, I should be knitting.

Monday, October 01, 2007

knitting as protest

Last night I headed into town with Rayna Fahey, left, founder of Radical Cross Stitch, and a fellow Kiwi Zoe Thompson-Moore.
Rayna now lives in Melbourne (with an adorable baby and a now competent finger knitting fellow) and she and Zoe organised a workshop about craft as protest and craft as a cohesive social structure for women.
The workshop was in the morning, but there was mention of another Melbourne-based artist that was doing huge cross stitch graffiti on hurricane fences as a means of protest and there was a brief mention of there being plenty of blank canvasses in the town.
Well Sally and I were interested and at the end of the session asked if they were going to do some.
The end results was at 10pm we met up in town, quickly mastered the skill of finger knitting and sat around knitting long, thickish threads that Rayna and Zoe used to stitch a message on the fence around what was the Palais, one of the towns oldest dance halls and a structure that is being demolished, leaving just the facade for heritage reasons. A few of the squatters who live in the area watched and spoke to us.
As soon as I can I'll get a picture of the completed saying, which was I want to Live Here with a big heart at the end.