Monday, January 28, 2008


As I mentioned last post, a parcel has disappeared and an angel tea cosy swap parcel has to be put together.
Now I already had a few warrssshhhh (there is always a voice in my head that says this word in a funny way) cloths at the ready and a basic, shamrock stitch cosy ready to embellish.

Well, unfortunately KatieV's kitchen is green and yellow, so the lovely bright red cloths are out, but thankfully I have some nice thick and bright yellow cotton ready to whip into shape tonight.

Now when it came to topping the cosy I immediately thought of some thing Red Dwarfish as KatieV is a fan, she is also a fan of Dr Who and Torchwood, which means her television viewing habits are of the highest quality.
Then I remembered she was trying to find the pattern of the babies beanie from Kath and Kim with wattle on the top.

Bonza (hey it's the Oz day public holiday give me a break) thought I as I started digging for appropriate greens. I didn't have anything suitable for the leaves or the wattle, but I still had some cream left over from the teapot which is hand wash only so I set about knocking over plenty of leaves and bobble-like things of my own invention to be dyed and felted.

Then when trying to see if there is any 'nice' yarn that I could include as a treat as there isn't time to get anything sent I went to her stash and project pages to look at the colours and types of fibres and weights she used.

Damn and blast and all that. There on the bottom of the projects was a pompom topped green tea cosy. Yep, she had already done a 'wattle' tea cosy.

But never fear, she has one style of wattle, there are many, many more and a quick dive into the fellas locked reference bookcase and I started looking at the various flora of Australia.

So she will be getting some of my special bobble wattle, leaves and if I can pull it off gum nuts as well.
Luckily in my wandering I found a stash of Lopi in a range of single ball colours that the fella brought back from Canberra during one of his guilty i've-left-her-once-again-with-the-kids-on-her-own wool buying trips so I have brown at the ready.

So tonight I'll be playing around and what was going to be a Noice tea cosy is heading down the May Gibbs street.

And I finally got around to taking a few pics, the little one is the other colours left for the travelling Tofutsies sock that Viv from ecoyarns has passed onto the Knit and Yarners to have fun with. A travelling sock comprises of little balls and each knitter grabs a colour, does two at a time and their own stitch pattern. When the ball ends, the sock is passed onto the next knitter who starts the new colour and their own preferred pattern until the toe is grafted.

And the pic at the beginning of the post is one of, um, several, coughsplutter, skeins that ended up in the post box this week.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

snailalia post

The post office has been the major focus of the week. Lots of little red and white cards in the post office box.

There was a swag of five ply discontinued wool from Tapestry and Craft. Kris from T&C rang me and it was a strange conversation. Firstly I was in the iron lift of doom at work and the voice on the line was dropping in and out but I distinctly heard the word Zephyrama. Now the number she had rung thru on was the craft mafia mobile so at first I thought it was a store or order call from a customer, but no, the lift doors opened, I managed to get into some air and it all became clear. It was Kris spookin' Ravelry people by using their avatar names and she was calling to make a change in the colours. So I ended up with a pretty purple.

Another postie parcel was a new lot of clothing labels, I can't believe how many we have gone through, and then there was six skeins of beauty, a couple of books, Porco Rosso and Japanese Godzilla movies.

Then there was a special parcel post marked December 20 from SA with a few fantastic children's sewing patterns from the 1960s. I knew these had been sent and despite the time lapse wasn't too worried until I realised it had been more than a month since the lovely and blogless Gigi popped them in the post box.

There have been a few late postal problems this week, so I'm hoping that my Dec 20 arrival will help send Miss Ks latest round of uni text books her way (also posted in late December and needed as she is doing it online and forgoing the traditional summer uni break) and that the Tea Cosy Swap for KatieV also manages to get to her.

The special tea cosy, made to match her green and yellow accented kitchen was posted three weeks ago from Tassie, but considering the five weeks for my parcel to make it, there is still hope.

Or maybe I'm just a little bit more laid back than others? Anyway I have gone into overdrive to finish the angel tea cosy package and I'm not giving away any spoilers.

In other news, well there isn't much, other than the fella's car getting stuck in reverse, well it was until Uncle T gave it a clout, and now it's stuck in forward. Thankfully he is in Brisvegas most of this week, then Perth the following so we won't feel the pinch of being down a car while it is getting fixed.

We will be borrowing a car for the time he is in town but would my father hand over an exotic look-at-me car, no, so I'll end up with one of the cars I learnt to drive on all those years ago, a long wheel base Landrover 110, the first one sold in Australia to be precise. And cause the fella has Landy issues, I get to drive it.

The first time the fella jumped into the Landy he stalled it and you just don't want to ask about the time he tried to reverse a trailer at the dump. Well okay, imagine a bloke stuffing up reversing a trailer at the dump with all the dump guys watching. Then having to get his heavily pregnant missus to climb out, waddle around and climb up into the drivers seat and shift that Landy quick smart. No, we don't talk about the Fella and the Landy.

Oh and for those in the big smoke, I need some ideas of decent places to eat around here. I'll be down for a two day and night gabfest because boss hunting season is about to start. The agenda looks insane with no chance of escaping around the corner to York street and the yarn delights of T&C, but I'm hoping that if I get up early enough I may be able to indulge in a decent breakfast. So what's good around there for pre-9am feasts?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

rik rac a go go

There are layers of pink, red, purple and more pink and red floating around the shed, and yards and yards of rik rac.

But I can't post photos until I do a blue and green combo, then I can artistically fold them up and arrange them on a pristine white background and take artsy fartsy photographs of them. Giving a hint, but not really revealing them.

But an uncluttered space in my house and a clean, white background is as rare as rockhorse shit. So that won't be happening, rather it will be a jumble of colour with lego, pencils and crayons and dragons in the background.

The other thing I've been doing is the bag swap, but once again I can't show pics in case my partner comes a stalking.
Let's say at the moment it is big, but will be smaller. Oh all right, it's going to be felted and I can't wait to knock it over as I'm going to tweak the pattern and knock one over for myself up an upcoming flying two-day visit to the big smoke. I have to be in meetings all the time, so I want a bag that can sneak in my sock knitting.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

new bags

The weather has been miserable lately, cold and wet, then steamy hot and wet, which has meant boring times inside.
I can't show any knitting at the moment because all I've been working on is a bag for the Ravelry bag swap and just in case the person I'm going to spoil wanders this way, I'm not going to be posting any pics.
Once it is done and gone I'll post with pics and a brief recipe. It is a pattern I've been thinking about for a while, not the super bag, but a simple version and so far so good.

In other crafting news I've been working on the kids' library bags for this year, doing a range of different kiddy style motifs. They are washable, calico and strong and we have about 40-odd bags waiting for designs to sell at the craft market.

So if anyone can think of cute motifs that are simple to draw comment away. The idea is that the drawings look like the kids themselves have done them and we can easily add the child's name to the bag.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Noropup two

Well the noropup is progressing slowly as I've started on a bag for the Australian Bag Swap. This is going to be felted and I'm incorporating one of the design components that I'm going to use in my new bag. I haven't seen anyone doing this type of 'thingo' yet, but I have to admit I haven't checked out many felted bags lately.

But because it is a secret pal thingo, no pics, nor any hints, other than the size it is going to be, it's going to take a long time.

In other news, no news. Well no news from Wales. I expect Mum landed safely but my Father has failed to pass this information along. But as yet, he hasn't turned up on the doorstep which is a good thing as neither has my brother so I'm taking it that the two of them are still getting on.

I've managed to catch up on some blog reading and yes, I finally organised a reader so I can see straight away which of my favourites has updated.

Now it seems that people are doing either New Year's lists or past year's lists. What they want to do, and what they did do.

I can't stick to resolutions, already broken the non buying one, so I think I'd best stick to past year's and I'll mix it up with a few facts about me after reading so many plastered on blogs in the lead up to swaps so:

Last year I had another book published.
Last year my children grew so much I spent a lot of time lengthening pants (made originally by me).
Last year I won a professional award which came with a stack of loot that cleared a few bills, like the credit card that I don't have, similar to that non stash.
I want a fast car.
Last year I was elected to my profession's national board comprising of 24 people which involves guiding the profession into the new age of the internet. (pity they are only just catching up)
Last year I started and then stopped belly dancing.
When my best friend died I ended up doing the eulogy at his funeral on my birthday. I still haven't forgiven him.
Last year I told a school principal he was unprofessional but in rude language and in front of other parents.
I have pulled-caused an illegal strike.
Last year my 12 year old car clocked 100,000, yes the first time around.
Last year my house got rather wet but my shed didn't.
I'm the first woman where I work to return to work fulltime. I was the first to do so and still the only one, despite having had three children. In the 150 years the firm has operated I'm still the first. I find that appalling.
Last year I was nominated for this year's Who's Who Australian Edition and Women's Edition and NSW State Edition.
Last year I spent about 10 hours a week doing physio in the shed, holding my head to the right and back, to try and relieve pain from a huge c5c6 injury. The best way to keep this position for any length of time is to turn on the sewing machine and sew long seams.
I once got drunk with Jeff Buckley, he just got drunker.
Both my thumbs are doubled jointed, I've passed on this wonderful attribute to my youngest child.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Despite having a single waving lace sock and a retro rib sock both crying out for partners, I've ended up casting on what many have dubbed the noropup.

Well this time it is toe up, two on two, with one Addi lace and one Knit Picks needle and I have to say, the Knit Picks is pointier than the Addi. But never mind, the different coloured needles make it easier.

Now the thing about this Noro is that it is extremely fine, so fine in fact that when I tugged tight to avoid ladders the bastard snapped on me, leaving a tiny tail. But ha, I wasn't defeated, no Noro is going to knock me over. Instead a quick weave and decent thump down on the table as punishment and noropup started behaving again.

Other than that, not much has happened, I'm back in the office and it's a drag behaving like a grown up.

And my grandmother seems fine. Mum flew over with the news that she would need a stiff tailwind if she wanted to see her mother alive, but half way through her flight we got the call her that her heart rate was normal again (it was around 40) and she had stopped rambling and was drinking and eating properly. Seems like she had an infection that knocked her around enough to go to hospital and then made her sound like a senile old duck.

But it doesn't look like she'll be going back home, rather she will be transferred back to the local infirmary and my mum and my uncle will be looking at care options.

Friday, January 04, 2008

a three hour drive to get to a real yarn store

I finally managed to gather together most of the sock yarn purchases from the past couple of weeks.
A lot of the yarns bought were ones I've read about and seen on blogs but had never touched in person.
While some are happy to buy without touching, squishing and yes, sniffing, I'm not, particularly considering the cost of the yarn and then the postage on top.

I can't just go to a yarn store and buy sock yarn. Patonyle yes, but it's an hour round trip at least. I've had people tell me to stop being upset about Patonyle being discontinued as there are so many lovely hand dyed sock yarns available in yarn stores.
There might be where they live, but it is a three plus hour drive to get to the closest store that stocks anything coming close to a hand dyed yarn. In fact that same store would also be the closest store that is a yarn store, not a quilt, beading, fabric, clothing store, that has put up a stand of ACS in the corner.

But my lust for sock yarn and my need to try other yarns without wasting money on unfortunate purchases has been solved. A lot of this yarn (barring the Ranco and knittery) was bought via Ravelry in the trades and swaps, which means heavily discounted and decent postage costs from overseas. Yes I can have some Jitterbug socks for less than a pair of Patonyle, ditto for the KPPM, Cherry Tree Hill, Wildfoote and that's all delivered to my door I don't have a huge drive on my hands either.

So now I'll begin the process of finding out if I like these particular yarns, if they stand up to the various reviews around the place.
So in this little pile of merino goodness are two hanks of Jitterbug (bottom aqua and left side pinks and red). The KPPM is in the tuxedo colourway on the bottom left, then there is some Brown Sheep lime green, some purple variegated Knit Picks and some Skacel stretch. Hidden somewhere else is a heap of Regia and I also bought more Knittery and three Rancos in a brick red, variegated purple and solid grey. The top is already caked and ready to be cast on Cherry Tree Hill which I don't mind at all, having already scored some a few years ago.

Now if I like any of these previously exotic I won't have any qualms in handing over cash at online stores, but I have to try them first and this is an easy and cheap way to do it. So far none of the deals have gone sour, I've trusted the seller and all has been good.

And then there is the Noro sock yarn. Yes it is scratchy and feels tough and seems incredibly thin, despite this extreme closeup making the yarn look plump.

But before I start knitting there are a few other pairs that have to be finished.

In other sock news, I no longer have to the 20th to finish my grandmother's socks. Yesterday my mother had 'the call' and had to scramble to get the first available flight to Manchester. The earliest is this Monday, so I doubt I can finish anything by then and I do hope grandma manages to hang on, the mind is sharp as a tack even thou she is in her 90s, but the body is old.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


As one swap draws to a close over on Ravelry with the Australian Knitters Group, another is preparing to open.

But because of issues about the overt chattiness of some members on the board (and I'm waving my hand up in the air, I don't mind a bit of chat, I really like the idea of community) there have been a few last minute issues.

The whole chattiness thing was starting to get an us versus them style aggression happening. In the red corner was those that meet together in person against the blue corner, those who don't have the ability to join a regular in-person knitting group, who don't get that opportunity to chat or chit or drink with other knitters.

Many blows completely missed their intended point, leaving many observers bewildered particularly when one or two members were asserting that forums or boards should not be used as a social platform. Really there are points good and bad on both sides, it just seems that compassion or an ability to interpret or communicate effectively are lacking.

In my workplace there is always a bit of a stoush going on, not strange considering the number of alpha style personalities my industry attracts. You know the type of incident, they want, expect or believe something should be done a certain way because that is the way they want it, regardless of the ideas, ability or needs of others. In a lot of cases the initial argument or direction is the best one, it's just the approach or attack style they employ to get their message across that puts the majority offside.

Water off a ducks back usually for me, but when faced with more than 40 personal mails this morning regarding swaps it really cut into my knitting time.

Some wanted to withdraw their nomination for the teaspoon awards as they didn't want to be seen supporting anyone of a certain location-based group. Interestingly these requests have come from people who are the occasional poster, those with a quiet presence on the board, the one's one lot of posters were saying that the other vocal group would scare away.

And then for the next swap there have been a slew of requests not to be partnered at all with certain posters. However, from a quick glance the names put forwards as no-goers for partners (ones to be avoided) didn't seem to stick their hands up at all.

End result, for the first swap, I'm not pulling back on any nominations, they will stand as is. Acknowledgment is due to some people because of the effort that they put in. For the next swap it's not an issue due to the type of people who have signed up.

In other words it's all good, but I wonder how many times the same boxing match will be held. I have a feeling that there are some seasoned boxers in the ring.