30 May 2008

Instant Knitting Karma

Here is the Short Circuit Scarf I made for my cousin, from 2 balls of divine Noro Silk Garden. They are the perfect colours for her, and I started it when I visited my uncle (her dad) in Royal Melbourne Hospital, when he was starting treatment for leukaemia (he's back home and is in remission - things are looking good!).

It's all finished, the ends are darned in, and - well - oooh it's so lovely.... she doesn't know I've made it for her... would it be very bad if I kept it for myself? YES, yes, it would. Bad Jejune! I overcame my selfishness, wrapped it nicely, and posted it to her on Tuesday.

Literally 2 minutes after stepping outside of the post office, the deed done, my phone rang. It was a lovely lovely woman in Cooma, who had - OMFG - picked up my knitting notebook way back in January!! It had fallen out of our car in the car park in Cooma. She finally sat down and looked through it, and found my mobile number!!! She's posting it back to me. I will send her something to thank her...

So that's my Instant Knitting Karma story. Are we all convinced there is a Knitting Goddess now?

ETA : 1:30 pm The book has just arrived in the post! Yay! The lady who runs Busyfingers Craft in Cooma found it, and had it on display in her front window for months to see if anyone recognised it... and my mobile number was on the first page, thank goodness. What an adventure it's had! Now, to send her a nice thank you gift...

Also, I must admit it never occurred to me to wash and block the Noro scarf, so I have no idea if it gets softer on washing, sorry ladies! It drapes very nicely, but isn't terribly soft to start with. I'll have to ask my cousin to give it a dunk and let me know :)

28 May 2008

Just a few letters

Mad Mad is just awesome.... look what just arrived ...

Her writing on the top of the card reads " She's definitely mad, no?" ...

I was perplexed by the Wien (Vienna) postmark though... this package has done the full World Tour ... (George, can you translate it?) ...

Then it hit me. AUSTRIA. AUSTRALIA. Only 2 letters difference! Mad Mad got it right, of course - but some bozo in the United States Postal Service clearly doesn't know his (let's assume it's a guy called Al, shall we?) geography. At all.

But the main event is the wonderful book and card. Dotter and I both really love them, and what can I say? You are totally and completely awesome, MadMad!! We're still needing the 'pick me up' value of such a gift, and it is just perfect.
Thank you!!!

27 May 2008

Nom nom nom

That's Lily when she was about 6 weeks old, and my feet! December 1995 or so.

If you click on the link you can rate it (click on the hamburgers above the pic).

OK, back to work... MadMad was wonderful and sent me and Dotter a copy of The Yarn Harlot's latest book - but it deserves a post of its own and pics... pending!

24 May 2008

Have a Say

I don't know if other Aussies have seen the ANZ bank ad on SBS (and probably other channels) at the moment, where Tony Barber, flashy media, and a glamorous lady with a trophy turn up at a house, congratulating the guy at the door on being with 'the Best Home Lender' or whatever, and then when he says "I'm renting", they snatch the trophy away, and all bugger off.

I don't know about you, but as a long-time renter I find this EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE. If there are other renters out there who feel the same, go on, send ANZ a complaint. I told them I'd now never consider getting a home loan with them, once the time comes...

22 May 2008

Festive Wool

I have to be brief - but Wool Fest was great, it did me and Dotter both good to get out and see our many friends, old and new, and fondle (and BUY) wool! Even caught up with old homeschooling friends! The SnB stall was great, fantastic effort by Taph, HappySpider, ShoppingSherpa and Kuka in particular. My stuff sold OK, but wasn't a run away hit by any means... dunno, I think people were there for the fibre (not surprisingly!) more than anything else.

This gorgeous tea cup was a gift from Taph... one of these days, when I get my painting time / mojo back, it may star in a painting!

Dotter has finally talked me into giving this spinning thing a whirl (har har). Bought this rather short dumpy drop spindle, but haven't had a go on it yet. I mainly got fibre to spin - plus a beautiful little ball of lace-weight silk.

And now back to this... 17 days and roughly 140 puzzles to go... Am not getting much knitting time, nor blog reading or commenting time. Getting to sleep at 1am is now a habit :/ As is having to check my blood pressure every few hours. Looks like I'm going to end up on medication (hypertension runs through my dad's side of the family; my grandfather died young from it). All I can say is thank goodness for belly dance class, it's keeping me sane at the moment.

I am determined to see Eurovision, though, even if I have to work in front of the telly!!

17 May 2008

Put on a Sweater

As Brenda Dayne would say ...

moar cat pictures

At least 180 puzzles to go (I've asked the author to rewrite/correct some, so it may be more than this), in 3 weeks... I feel like I've been hit around the head.

Dotter and I will be at the Wool Fest tomorrow for a little while - I've got Knitting Art cards and stuff for sale (for the whole time 10 am - 4 pm), so head on over to the Canberra SnB stall! We have cookies! (OK, maybe not, but we do have lots of other goodies!)

Back too wurk ...

13 May 2008

Just keep going, just keep going, just keep going....

Head still down, working too hard, burning what bits of candle are left at both ends, getting sick (what a surprise), stressing out, more health scares with Dotter, but a hospital visit averted... sums up the past week pretty well. The review is coming along, but it's a huge amount of work, and there have been a few 'editorial battles' along the way to spice things up. My Project Editor is good to work with though.

If anyone knows where I've put my Social Security Card, please let me know. I need my SSN for a US tax form thingy, to prove I'm not American, argh. Kind of ironic, needing an American SSN to prove I'm Australian... hmmmm.

I got a Social Security Number (a SSN isn't just for Christmas, it's for LIFE) when I lived in the States in the 1990s, and haven't needed it til now ... and no, I haven't been careful about where I put the card. Dumb dumb dumb. And you wouldn't believe the rigmarole to retrieve the number (or maybe you would)... time to start going through the boxes in the garage. And FIL's garage (even more scary, cos that one has RATS).

Progress is being made on Lara, as you can see! I'm past the sleeve holes! Dotter suggested just knitting in 40 stitches of waste yarn, which will be removed and reveal 80 live stitches for each sleeve. Much neater than the pattern's 'cast off 40 sts, and then make 40 stitches using a provisional cast on' method. That's the line of white/purple yarn for one sleeve at the top of the pic. I just love this top.

OK, gotta stop blogging and reading what everyone else is up to now, back to work (working til midnight every day, and all weekend, is starting to wear thin....).

11 May 2008


My clever son took and captioned this photo ...

Happy Mother's Day to all us mums!

10 May 2008

Shimmy Shimmy Boobholder

I know this is a bit after the fact, but here are photos of the finished Boobholder... just love it. Really happy with how this turned out!

Adaptations to the pattern : did make puffy sleeves, used seed stitch for the edges rather than garter stitch, changed the increases along the fronts, and didn't do the 'busty lady' increases - well, I did, but they made it too big, so I ripped that bit out and reknit it. If anything it's a bit gape-y at the very top. I tried using a button to close it, but decided in the end that ties worked better.

See, an official bellydancing pose (I should do some pics with the hip scarf on, shouldn't I?!)...

08 May 2008

We have pointy sticks!

Here's a cautionary tale for all of us – a true story, from Amesbury, Massachusetts :

In 1953, Melvin and Lorraine Clark became active in a new pastime in Amesbury – wife swapping. A group would get together, throw their house keys in a bowl, and then each choose a key and go with its owner for the evening.

On the night of April 10, 1954, Melvin came home early and found Lorraine in bed with another man. They quarreled. The quarrel ended when Lorraine stabbed Melvin with a knitting needle then shot him twice.

When she realized that she had killed Melvin, she wrapped his body in chicken wire to make a small parcel, then drove it to the Merrimack River, tied weights to it and dumped it from a bridge. Assuming that the motion of the tidal river would carry the corpse out to sea, Lorraine pretended to friends and neighbors that Melvin had left after a major quarrel. She backed up this story by suing Melvin for divorce on grounds of cruelty.

But on June 2, Melvin's badly decomposed body was found in the marshlands by a bird watcher. When questioned by police, Lorraine confessed. She was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
I wonder if she knit a lot in prison ... ;)

06 May 2008

Please welcome Lara!

This is what became of Mariah ...

And here is what this Bendigo Alpaca is now becoming... the Lara Pinwheel Sweater from Elann... really loving it. Easy, interesting enough, and growing quickly (at this stage at least).

Work is very full on. Working til midnight most days, and on weekends. Since they've actually put the book I'm reviewing up for pre-release, I don't see why I shouldn't post a link to it... Have tested 50 puzzles out of 300. 250 puzzles and 3 weeks to go 0_o

I am loving it, though :)

ETA : I'm testing these puzzles, as a Technical Reviewer, not writing them from scratch ... so I have to do each puzzle, while considering how hard /easy/fair it is, suggest improvements, and make corrections and so on. Plus make 'expert comments' on the text of the book.

02 May 2008

From little things...

SO proud of Prime Minister Rudd, and the direction things are heading in here. At LONG LAST.

Mariah has been frogged, so no going back now!

Back to work - too much to do! Argh!

ETA : Am NOT getting gauge for Ivy.... I'm down to 3mm needles and after washing and blocking this second swatch, it's still too big! I don't want to knit a whole cardigan on 2.5mm needles! Waaaah!

I keep coming back to Lara, so perhaps that is the way to go after all, and I should just embrace the floppiness. I could start afresh, with the right sort of thicker wool, for a more tailored cardy later on... Argh.

01 May 2008


Argh, this is hard! I'm thinking more and more that using 100% alpaca was the biggest problem with my Mariah - it doesn't have the spring and strength of wool, and the whole thing is just too drapey and floppy. And I can't bear the thought of starting another nice top and having the floppy fibre not work again.

I've spent far too long on Ravelry, and using their Pattern Search facility, have come up with only a few cardigans that are on gauge (20-24 sts : 4") and in 8ply / DK, with not floppy sleeves, and in nearly pure alpaca. I think IVY is about the only option.