Friday, December 28, 2007

a lesson

For the past few days I've been busily knitting away with what was left over from Zegal's toasty toes.
The idea was to learn toe up construction with a reverse heel, two at once on two circular needles.
And as I want to do a pair of socks for Mum to take OS to my Grandma at the end of Jan I thought that this would be the perfect pair.
While my Grandma has tiny feet length wise, I think at 91 you can safely assume a bit of old lady foot spread has occurred so a rib pattern with the DK weight on 3mm circs with a stitch count of 64 it was. I'd normally do a 48 on 3.25m for myself with a rib, but I wanted them to be soft, a little bit denser and warmer but with plenty of room for her and easy to get on.

So on I cast using the magic cast on and I was off and racing, literally, working on them once everybody else in the house had crawled off to bed.
They took absolutely no time at all to get to the heels and the heels were a breeze and it was so easy that I was able to enjoy the SBS Godzilla movie the other night and last night's Japanese cult movie. But at about 2am when the weird French movie ended I was about seven rows into the cuff with maybe five meters left!

What to do?
For starters I propped my feet up on the table this morning and took pics of the socks. Tonight Zegal and I will enjoy ripping them back and rewinding the yarn so that later on I can cast on 48 stitches and make some warm winter socks for myself.
It also means digging out some silk alpaca for Grandma and putting aside all other socks until they are done.

While the lack of yardage was a bummer, this partial pair has been a great experience. I now know that while I do prefer DPNs I could use circs if I had to for socks. Although I will be getting some Addis to have that colour difference with the Knit Picks.
While I prefer cuff down, where yardage may be an issue I can easily reverse the process which bodes well for the Jitterbug.
And knitting toe up because of a yardage issue is no guarantee of avoiding these issues.

Now for more sock news, but beautiful sock news.
In the past week I've received a few packages, no not more than usual, but the contents have been decidedly special.
Firstly was some Hercules by Jolly Jumbuck in a beautiful athabasca colourway. I tried to photograph it's deep, oil slick colours but just couldn't do it justice.

The second was a package of goodies, some of which were shown in the last post. Along with the biscuits there were rum balls (I ate them all 'cause I love me rum balls and promptly fell asleep on the lounge), and a chocolate log and a little notepad which was quickly appropriated by Zegal who declares that Spiraling is her special friend there was also some sock wool.

The sock yarn is beautiful and it looks like this.

Now to find a pattern worthy of the yarn. Any ideas?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

merry crimbo

So much to eat, so much sweet stuff, so many pressies, so much yarn, so many books and patterns.

It's hard to know where to start, that I won't tonight, but here is a pic of the Jar trying his best to pose for a photo when his mouth is full of yummy biscuit from spiraling.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A reading age of 12

12. That is the reading age that a tabloid reporter is expected to write for.
That is so people with a reading age of 12 can understand every word, can follow the story and can go from the intro to the end without scratching their heads. How's that for the literacy levels of Australia!

Imagine you are a poor man sending a telegram to an idiot was how one aged journalist once told me.

You will notice that I said that this guideline applies to tabloids. For broadsheets, at least when I worked on one, I was told it was 14, but for specialised publications or for feature pieces you can write to reflect a higher literacy level.

But today I made the mistake of not sticking to the 12 rule and was called rude for what I wrote.

I wrote a straight forward sentence, in fact two sentences. Both of which I considered agreed with the original poster.

I don't want to dumb down my language, as this particular community as a whole is full of articulate people, oh except for when they start drinking and then it's just a hoot and full of spellos, and mine are some of the worst examples.

I've seen exchanges on various boards where the words get nasty and it is a shame that a minority will try to attempt to shame and unsettle or employ passive aggressive language when they just don't have the comprehension to understand a simple exchange of words.

My little tangle today was easily cleared up, but this episode and a few others I have witnessed lately has certainly made me think about the use of the 12 rule in my life.

I have always thought that the 12 rule was over the top, but understood that a lot of children did read the paper and using language appropriate to their reading level was important, not just for informing them, but also encouraging them to continue reading.
But now I'm thinking of the usage of the 12 rule for situations other than that of metro dailies; the need for it in a wider sphere.

Some people seem to have a lot of trouble being able to gauge the intent behind what is written. When there is not audible tone it can be hard for those who don't frequent boards or write or read a lot to discern exactly what has been written.

Now I need to pour a drink and start spelling badly

Saturday, December 15, 2007

it's beginning to look a lot like xmas

I've bought some presents, the tree is up, the tinsel and the cookie cutters are hung and a few presents for Uncle T are under the tree.
The Jar and I sat and wrapped up T's presents. That way he knows what in these presents and understands they aren't for him. In a few days, I'll start slinking more under the tree but by then I hope he truly understands they aren't for him to open whenever he feels like it.

Still going on the toasty toes, on my third attempt but seem to have it right now. Doing 48 stitches with 2.75s (3.25s and above seem to be the norm) and I'm doing a k2, p2 rib all the way down the leg and foot.

She likes them so far.

Now officially on hols, will have to go in first thing monday to clear the desk a bit and book in photos and finish off one feature, but that's only an hour or so. I must have been tired, today I ended up snoozing on the lounge for five hours after an early lunch. And last night I managed to stick a knife into the palm of my hand, right at the base of the thumb. I was juggling too many things and trying to get the lock open on the shed and the crackers fell, the (wrapped) cheese hit the deck and my attempt to stop them sliding off the plate resulted in a sharp knife getting stuck in my hand, stopping only cause it hit bone.

At least it is a clean cut, and I packed it, disinfected it and wrapped it, but it's just in that place on the right hand where the scissors rest so I can't really do any cutting out for sewing. Well I did, but it bled like the buggery, so I'll wait a few days and just machine sew what I have for now.

The cut doesn't effect the knitting.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

too busy

I'm trying to do four weeks worth of work in one week.
Yep it's holiday season again so I have to do as much as possible before I leave my desk on Friday.
So no time to really post, or take pictures of the goodness that has been turning up.
Like cascade 220 superwash, like more Ranco in grey, like Knitpics Options Set and extra cables, like the 12ply Tapestry and Craft bright red wool.

But one wonderful piece of news, FOAT has asked me to knit him a jumper! Seems it's now cool at school to wear hand knits, apparently it was in winter but in true Foat boy style he's only gotten around to asking me now.

Not black, no skulls (sniff) and not holey, which I've interpreted to mean, dark dark navy blue, boring, and at a decent dense gauge.
This will be my holiday knitting when I get sick of the socks and the skaters top.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

look what i got

Today when I went to the post office I found a little box waiting for me.
And what was in the box but 5 ounces of an 8 ounce hank of toasty toes dk sport weight.
Oh it's ugly, oh sooo pink and orange and the red and purple.

It was a hard one to photograph and I really didn't capture the true colours. It's deep pink rather than a light pink and Zegal gasped when she saw it.

She wants a pair of socks from it. This is the gal who refused to wear pink and I mean REFUSED until just recently.

So I'm going to try it out.

And the first of the Teaspoon awards for the Australian Knitters' tea cosy swap were announced a moment ago.
There will be more to come.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Two more pairs down in the SSS. First is the black dk weight baby alpaca and silk plain socks (plain with a 5k, 1p repeat on the leg all the way down the toe) for mum for Christmas and the second pair is the sock pixie free zig zag in Knitpicks Landscape yarn that I bought off Ravelry.

I really like the sock pixie pattern with it's two row repeat pattern. Not complicated enough that I can't watch television, read or deal with children while doing it, but not boring enough like straight stocking stitch that I end up dumping it behind the lounge and forgetting about it.

The pattern is also stretchy, but after a while the colours just came across as not me, but more mum, so this year the woman gets two pairs. There is quite a bit leftover from the KPs as I don't like overly long socks so the Jar or Zegal may get a mini pair as well.

I've already cast on for some more Jar Jar socks, 54 stitches, 2.25m with opal for a nice dense hard-to-kill sock and I have some Ranco that needs to be balled and used.

Hmmm ranco.

And as I am now officially old as my eldest boy turned 11 today, I'm going to cheer myself up with a set of Knitpicks options.

Yes, it will be my birthing day present, as in this house each time the children have a birthday, I celebrate birthing day as it was I that did the hard work, that gave them life and then coped untold pain during the whole process, not to mention what I have to do to get and remain pregnant, so I deserve a present.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

phone call from the top of the world

Well, not the top of the world, but the top of Australia.
This morning the mobile went off and the fella was calling. I thought this meant he was off the mountain and down in Canberra as mobile reception is stuffed up there, he's only managed to call twice and the phone lines are down in the lodge as well.
But he wasn't in Canberra, in fact he and Zegal were still up there and Zegal just had to call me to tell me she was standing on the highest part of Australia.
Yep, there is mobile reception at Kosciuszko, on the top of the mountain.

Because of their big walk up there, they won't be back this afternoon as planned, although fella did talk about skipping dinner and a sleep at his parental units' place and driving back here tonight.

So still no camera. But when it comes back I'll be able to show off my first handspun done on my roberta electric spinning wheel.
I set it up last night, cleaned and oiled the little beauty. It was fantastic, and didn't cause any pressure or pain to my shoulder like using my trad Ashford did. However I was already in pain from lugging the Jar around and having to hang out the washing.
But I managed two hours of spinning and then plying while watching the Mighty Boosh!
The end result is a huge hank of overly spun, twisty stuff, which is shocking in some parts but in others so uniform.
It's given me a taste, a taste of what could be and I loved doing it. Roberta is so quiet and as I had her set up at chest level this little machine will not cause neck blowouts, nor will I have to learn to coordinate my leg and hand movements.