Friday, November 30, 2007

skaters top

There seems to be a lot of traffic ending up here because of the Skaters Top.
I've started and have managed to knit to the end of one ball. Which means I've cast on, done the hem facing, the purl turn row and started up the body of the top.
I'm using Rowan Glace as suggested as the other possible substitute for us here in Australia is a Jo Sharp, but her cottons are shocking to work with.
Talk about splitaroonies. Shocking stuff, although if you can struggle through with the knitting, the end result looks good and more plush than with the Rowan.
But due to my hatred of spliten' I've chosen the Rowan, mainly because the only time I get to knit my own stuff is after the chickens, kids and fella have gone to bed. Usually by then my eyelids are almost shut and I just plonk myself on the lounge put on the lamp and knit away in the dark house, so I want a yarn that I don't have to constantly watch every stitch being formed to avoid splitting.

I'm loving the way the Rowan is working up, although having chosen the largest size to accommodate the boobs it will take a long time to get this one done.
But I will and it will be fantastic.
The camera still isn't home so no pics of the progress so far, but I will post regularly seeing as there seems to be so many hits coming this way from searches for the Skaters under top.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

big smoke

A quick trip to sydney and back for work meant a stop at Tapestry and Craft. Which of course meant falling down the stairs straight into the Ranco display.
So I ended up with a skein in the brick red colourway. It looks so much better in the flesh than it does on the screen so I'm glad I didn't order online as I would have ended up with the cherry red which just didn't move me the way the brick red colour did. I also really like the grey, but I did leave it there.
Then I stumbled up the few steps and crashed into the Rowan books and ended up having to get Rowan 40. Beautiful but I'll have to keep this one away from my mum, otherwise she'll borrow it and I'll have to fight to get it back.

The work side was good, although we kept stopping to watch skynews' live broadcasts from Canberra. When they finally got to Rudd making his cabinet announcements there were hoots all around, but not as loud or as rude as those when Costello came out to announce the Liberal leadership decision. So how many times will there be a change in the libs before the next election?

Trip home was a nightmare of sorts but still fun. The train was full when it left Central and then the slow all-stations train in front broke down and they all climbed aboard at Strathfield. There were people sitting and standing in the aisle and the stairs and I spent the trip until Fassifern squished in a corner. But the oldies who penned me in were a delightful bunch. One old dear, who had recently lost her husband after more than 50 years of marriage, was telling tales about Keating. She used to work for him in Bankstown. She was a wealth of knowledge and had some pretty broad views and told me she was delighted to meet a youngster who not only had a grasp of politics but could turn a fine heel as well. My completed landscapes sock was passed around the group who obviously knew their hand knitted socks well and knew what I was doing when turning the heel on the second sock.
One old dear asked me what I was going to do with the sock I was knitting. I turned to her deadpan and said "wear it" and that got them started about the benefits of socks and how no one knits them and how good they were and all the complaints they can cure.
That's right if I always wear hand knit socks, my golf game will improve, as will my aches and pains, not to mention my circulation. Yes despite the heat in the carriage and no space, it was an entertaining ride home.

Still no camera, but it and the fellow and Zegal should be home on Sunday. Zegal probably will want to stay there forever as there is SNOW and she has had a ball in the snow.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

the most important day of your life

Well sort of, maybe only for the next few years, and only if you are in Australia and registered to vote.
Get to it, don't do a 'donkey' or invalid quote.
Remember that when it comes to employment figures, if you work ONE HOUR A WEEK that means you are fully employed as far as the employments figures are concerned. Perhaps the employment figures should be renamed the under-employed figures.

And yes darling, I have voted, the animals have been feed, only one frog tried to escape but we foiled his mission for freedom.
Foat boy was a scream on stage, the Jar was good watching and all is well.

Hope the possums don't bite and if you manage to get to a working phone give me a call.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

two crickets for each frog

Two meetings, another one over lunch, 3500 words, postponement of staff review, interviews lined up for next week, organised trip for upcoming negotiations for industry awards or salary and conditions package (or not award depending on Saturday night's election results) and then brought right back into the mundane with a note on the table that each frog has to be fed two crickets every night.
Oh and a postscript about turning off the lights.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

he's taking the camera away

That's right, the camera will be gone for more than a week, cause he thinks it's important to document his and Zegal's holiday.
Hmmp. What about my knitting I say.
Anyway, I'll be too busy really with the boys. There's a series of performances, a sleepover for a heap of 10 and 11 year olds (oh why did I say yes to this one), a trip to Sydney for award negotiations tentatively scheduled next week and so much work.

So I'll probably not get a chance to post to Southern Summer of Socks, but I'll try, although I expect all my spare time will be spent knitting the under top with that lush Rowan Cotton Glace I managed to get my hands on.

And big snaps to P' for sending so many people here. She obviously liked what she saw, maybe I should join her in the Etsy group on Ravelry too!

'Cause it's obvious that the bricks and mortar market I mentioned when talking about the fuglies (designs that I think just don't work or are plain ugly) selling first on a thread at Ravelry, was thousands of miles and several time zones away so it was nice for her to go off-site and find out I was on Etsy and then post the info for everyone to see.
Personally I try and keep the fabric away from Ravelry, there's enough to deal with over there with just the yarn, but thanks for the push!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

done, next please

Finally the Zegal's shawl jumper is done.
It looks great, there is enough room for growth or heavy jumpers underneath and she is pretty damn impressed with it.
The shiny buttons clinched it for her.
The buttons are two hand-made mother of pearl or shell buttons that I had in my vintage button collection. What I hear you ask, a button collection, well a gal who has vintage dresses, fabric, wool and patterns both sewing and knitting must have an old rusty tin full of old, old buttons.
So it's finished, although that shawl seemed to take forever, and there are one or two wraps that I didn't managed to pick up properly to disguise but they are under the fold and her hair, so stuff it.
Do you know how hard it is to knit at 1am in the morning when your eyes are twitching from lack of sleep and you keep being sucked into watching that Carry On movie.
Take out the Carry On movie and it's a fair bet most of you know what I'm talking about, that deadline is approaching, stuff sleep style of knitting.
So what next: Mum's xmas socks in silk alpaca (she doesn't know about the blog haha), then a few second socks to complete pairs for me and I have more than a dozen balls of Rowan Cotton Glace sitting in the bookshelf to be turned into the Skaters Undertop for me.
Oh and they bloody want another two pairs of convict pants for the play!

Friday, November 16, 2007

the convicts are coming

A theatre troupes worth of convict pants have been sewn which means I'll be in bed before midnight tonight. Finally.
I won't be packing away the machines, I've got five shorts and a women's dress as a custom order to do, and the Jar has managed to grow out of all his shorts.
So I'll be pointing the magic wand and creating a few pairs for him. I managed to get a spectacular cornflower blue chenille blanket and a super lime green one so I can see some bright pants not just for him but for the next market and for the etsy store.
But the big work of the weekend will be doing the shawl collar on Zegal's jumper. She's off to the snowy mountains on Thursday and while she has grown a lot in the past year, most of her mountain gear still fits so it will be a case of doing the collar, sewing in the sleeves and then hunting down all her warm socks.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

the ceiling is falling down

The June long weekend storms just didn't flood houses, there were plenty of downed trees, flying roofs and basic mayhem.
While my brother's house and workshop went under water in a dramatic way, my parent's house had trees crash thru the second level and we had fences squashed and branches played that old fashioned game of elastics with the wires holding the antenna in place.
You could say that the branches lost and had to go to the back of the line as they crashed into the wires, causing the other wires to pull up and then go back down. Which was fine until the winds blew and the rain came down and those roofing sheets loosened in the game of elastics let rain in.
End result: Holes in really thick plaster, moulded plaster ceilings cracking and threatening to fall down and huge growing stains on my once white walls.
But finally it looks like my insurance company has come to the party.
Not only did they try and get out of paying for the new roof (which thankfully is already on) they were trying to say the ceilings and walls were already damaged, until I casually dropped into the mix the fact we had taken photos of said ceilings and walls and you can see when they were entered into the computer.
So five months down the track work will start! Soon the Zegal will have her bedroom back (the collapsing area is right over where her bed was)and I won't have to look at brown stained walls.
Next is the fence and then we change insurance companies so bloody quickly and name and shame them loudly.

But that story is just a diversion so that you don't notice the photograph of the wool above, on the bottom is J. Knits hand dyed, with looks soft and spongy and possibly pill-y while the top is some AYE AYE me hearties Yarn Pirate in the Dahlia colourway which looks like a stunning yarn, a finer version of CTH. Both were bought from ravelry so therefore don't count as buying wool.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

SSOS and whose a naughty girl

Well I can't manage to keep sticking to the compacting rules. Those are the rules where you just buy the basics, basic toiletries, no new clothing, no gadgets, no dvds, no (sob) yarn.
Well I make clothing from retro, reclaimed fabrics so I've had plenty of new clothes which fit into the compacting rules.
Underwear of course is allowed, I have an unlimited source of product so I never have to buy it so I can cope with that, I also get a heap of preview movies, again no buying, but the yarn has got me.
This week some hand-dyed J. Knits sock yarn has turned up, some undyed sock wool from the UK, both of which could be loosely termed recycled so not really against the compacting bargain, but the four Knitscenes are bad, along with all my other previous book purchases.
At least I haven't bought any gadgets thou I'm so keen to buy another laptop so I don't have to fight with the fellow. The other old laptop is shite, my big lunky desktop computer is a dinosaur so I reckon a new laptop and a wireless modem so I can work out in the shed and life would be grand.
All the presents this year have been handmade and with my three kids we are definitely on the birthday party roster.
So I think I've done fairly well so far since the beginning of the year, just that ruddy yarn and knitting books have broken the compacting rules.
So I'm going to try and stick to another pact, my Southern Summer of Socks mantra is finish what you've got before you cast on for more.
I wonder how long that will take to break?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

winning a double

Not on the cup, but I did manage to buy two different lots of yarn today. Firstly I did a bit of a search on the trade or sell at Ravelry and some mighty fine Yarn Pirate sock wool is coming my way.
Secondly 15 balls of Rowan Cotton Glace is winging my way from the UK. Including shipping it's about $100US, which these days will be a scratch over $100 Australia.
All I can say is I'm glad 'he' don't read the blog.
Well I better get off and finish that half sleeve and start cutting out those pants.
And from next week I'll be haunting the post office.

Monday, November 05, 2007

150m of material

That's what sitting in a roll in my car, along with three patterns and a box of thread. Luckily the 'designer' saw fit to follow my idea for the pants, just two pieces, overlock top and bottom, sew the leg seam together, pop one inside the other and whiz around the crotch and do a waistband leaving a hole for the cord. But still there are 30 pairs to make. At least I got out of having to thread cords through the waistband, the kids can do that.

And back to knitting which is chugging along. The pic above is one sleeve done and I'm casting on tonight for the second, then it's the shawl collar.
My Zegal is 6 and a fairly trim six year old if you know what I mean. She ain't chunky or 'solid' is another euphemism parents often trot out when their kids are plain fat.
In the aim of getting some wear out of the jumper I did a size 8 and really I think I should have done the largest for size 10. Yes it fits, yes there is room to grow, but I was hoping for a bit more room.
The pattern comes from a Panda 8plys, 11 handknits for kids, size 2-10. This is probably the nicest pattern from the book. The other decent one is a vest with optional hood, which I've done a few of, mainly for the Jar and this is the one I rewrote to suit a range of different weights. It is a two movie knit for me, I love those vests and really I should photograph them all (about six were done over winter) and upload them to ravelry.
So off to the pub tonight for knitting to get that sleeve done so I can, hopefully, get right into the Southern Summer of Socks.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Last night I stayed up late to get something done.
So the Zegal's red jumper for the snow needs just the left front done and then the sleeves.
The pattern I've based the jumper on is knitted flat but I sat down and did the maths to turn into into a circular knit and I'll do the same for the sleeves. That way it won't seem so long and the knit stitch is always quicker than purling. I've also got to do the deep shawl collar, but I've decided not to think about that. At all, no way, too much work there.
So I'm hoping by Sunday night to sew in the sleeves and give it a block, then I have to start on all the socks that are sitting on the needles.
And then I've got orders for the next market, oh have I got orders!
Aliens, skulls, shorts, dresses, monsters. But these are fun and not so labour intensive, not when you consider I have trained monkeys that cut out for me and a magic overlocker.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

what have i done?

The oldest, Foat, does drama at the same drama company I went to as a child and will soon be performing in his first play.
Talking to the director at knitting on Monday night I mentioned that if they needed help with costumes, I could rev up the machine. She laughed and said she'd already dobbed me in to do it.
So last night I had the call. 58 pairs of calico pants and a dozen or so aprons. Fine I don't have to do them all, another mum will be doing some as well.
But the catch is the art director has yet to get the material. So by the time this happens I'll have less than a fortnight to do about 30 pants, and considering I have the same deadline for Zegal's jumper for the snow and several big craft markets to sew for I'm thinking of getting drunk!
So it's going to be a busy time ahead. I don't mind the doing the costumes, but only a fortnight to get so much done is really pushing it and I have a feeling the other mum (who has worked in the fashion industry) would probably have the same feelings as I do towards the art director. It's not as if he hasn't had a year's notice of when the play would be and the gist of the script.
And of course I signed up for Southern Summer of Socks.