Monday, August 29, 2005

I was so excited, I left my phone behind!

OMG I discovered another LYS close by that is FANTASTIC. Only you, my dear knitting fanatics, would understand the joy felt.

In fact, I was in such a state, that my handy dandy Pocket PC was left behind. I had it out to see if the wool in my hand had a gauge to match the Union Market Square pullover and with a squirming baby in one arm and me fumbling about to get out my wallet to pay for the needles I needed (I was buying needles to, wait for it, FINISH THE COLLAR IN DH'S JUMPER!!!!! It is very close to done...) well, it was all too much and the phone was the casualty. I will be going back tomorrow morning to pick it up, what a shame I have to visit there AGAIN!

They had all the stars - Noro, Rowan, Debbie (with HEAPS of her books.... could be dangerous) and some AMAZING Australian grown and spun chunky hand died wool - I tell ya that stuff was beautiful. I can't wait to go back minus the Little Man to have a proper look.

It's all too much. I need a lie down.

As mentioned before, I am getting close to the end of the MJ. There was a very tense moment on the weekend though - I was blocking it, looking at how it has seemed to have grown to double it's size, thinking how on earth will I bring this back into shape. DH suggested, chuck it in the dryer, as it was taking forever to dry and it was massive. So against my better judgment, I did just that. Just for 1/2 hr on low, but thank the gods, it came back into shape. PHEW. So now I have attached the shoulders, about to make the collar, and then have to sew the rest of it up. Oh how pleased I will be when it is done and DH has it on his back. Of course, today brought the return of spring with a 23C day....

In other news, I am past the shaping on the French Market Bag and onto the long task of knitting in stst for about 8 inches. It's going well, I hope it will felt up nicely.

Friday, August 26, 2005


What do you do when you have to go to work but you are THIS CLOSE to finishing a certain jumper that feels like it has been an albatross around your neck FOREVER? You KIT, or Knit In Traffic. And you know, I think today was the first time I CURSED the traffic for moving, DAMN YOU!! I have almost finished this row and you want me to move my car??!!

Ahhhh work. Being a semi-SAHM (semi because I quite often have to work from home with the Little Man vying for my attention every 2 seconds) I find it difficult to get things done. Like an 8 hour day, I get about 5 hours done (if I'm lucky). But I have moved into the world of Nannies. As there is no way that I can commit to a particular day at daycare every week (Oh sorry Mr/Mrs Client, you know that job that needs to be done Monday as it has to be on air on Tuesday? Yeah, can't do that, Little Man is not in daycare until Wednesday. What's that? You'll find someone else to do it? Ok then.... you see my predicament) a casual nanny is the way forward for us.

Anyway, I sort out a nanny for yesterday (for Little Man to get used to her and not freak out at this stranger who's suddenly looking after him) and today, Monday and Tuesday to cover while I'm at work.

So I get up at sparrows fart (oh such a tasteful saying, I thank my Dad for that one, along with another such gem 'off like a bucket of prawns in the sun'...) to drive into the city (not my favourite place to visit at the best of times) (but I can KIT so it's all ok). I arrive about 10 mins before I'm due to start and search frantically for a park, rush into work to find that the job has been cancelled. THE JOB HAS BEEN CANCELLED? Are you kidding me? Did you maybe think it might be an idea to tell me this fact...

... But you know, this means I can visit my favourite LYS on the way home...

And I was well behaved. Much yarn fondling, no yarn buying.

When I got home it was all another matter.

But it's for my mums birthday present, so it's justified. Promise it is! I got some gorgeous Noro Silk Garden *drool* in colourway #228. It's so yummy. And what kinda freaky world do we live in where it is cheaper to buy it from the other side of the globe than it is from my LYS. I will be stalking the postie...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


How could I have forgotten?

My wonderful mum has sent me some GORGEOUS Opal, bought from her LYS in Byron Bay. I sincerely hope that she didn't pay $20 odd for it, cause that's how much I have seen it for and it is way too much.

Her birthday is coming up and I think I might make her the infamous Clapotis - someone on the knitty board mentioned they were going to make it for their own mum so I can't take all the credit for such a brilliant idea. I'm thinking of making it in Noro silk Garden number 228 as she has red hair and is wearing lots of olive lately (that is she HAD red hair last time I saw her, in fact I don't think I've ever seen my mum's natural hair colour).. What do ya think?

We had the roof man come around today to check out the roof insulation situation - apparently only half of the house is insulated.... mmmm clever. Did they think that the half that was done was gonna stay warm with all the hot air escaping through the part that wasn't done? I can see this quote is gonna be more than our landlord will want to pay, because from past experience, landlords are stingy by nature. I think what happens is when you plonk the money down for the investment property all responsibility for it flies out the window. For example in our last house, we had a very dodgy deck - the nails in it were sticking up it was so bad. And standing around putting clothes on the line with a rusty nail in my foot is not my idea of a good time. We had pointed out this problem before we moved in and were assured that it would be fixed. WHEN it would be fixed I guess is something they neglected to tell us, because after over 2 years of living there they 'fixed' it.. by chopping that half of the deck off. Another surprise on this deck chopping day was our landlord saying 'oh no we won't be building for another year or so, so you're fine to stay' (yes another part of this sorry tale was the housing plans that went into the council that we discovered through our neighbour. Gee would be nice if maybe, uh I don't know, the AGENCY could inform us of these happenings).

Yes a surprise it was, even more of a surprise when we are given 2 months notice a week later. Another YEAR you say Mr Landlord? I think you might have been telling us small porkies...

Oh yes, the MJ! I almost forgot, I finished a sleeve!! I was TOTALLY panicking when I finished it, holding it up to DH's arm and thinking, hmmm this STILL looks too short. But hey, it's a rib, it has a lot of give, and I'll block it (see, 'blocking phobia' has given way to 'blocking SAVIOR').

Sunday, August 21, 2005

No Mo' Mohair

You all know Bonne Marie Burns of ChicKnits fame, that woman is genius.

I have been frogging my hot pink mohair jumper to use the yarn on my slippers. After being delivered from the 7 depths of hell where I frogged the damn thing (mohair DOES NOT like to be frogged. That is NO FROGGING for mohair. EVER. AGAIN.)

Anyways, after that performance I ended up with a whole lotta curly mohair. Not the best for reknitting, so off to the trusty old Knitty Archives where the lovely Bonne Marie walked me through the un-curling process.
Did I mention genius?

So I did the skeins, the tieing together, the soaking. Apart from almost staining the bath pink, it worked like magic! (oh hi Miss Real Estate agent, you know I'd really like the bond back. Oh that pink staining in the bath? that was there when we moved in, some silly person must have been soaking skeins of mohair in it...)

Then I squeeze, rolled and lay out to dry. Any what do ya know - the lovely skeins are looking all shiney and new!
They are now sitting around waiting to be spun into balls.

In other news - Everyone rejoice! I am now up to the sleeve on the MJ.
Everyone sigh, I am already hitting a hurdle.
Having a different yarn and a taller DH than the pattern would cater for is making this jumper a task and a half. But I have added more sts to my cast on (don't ask me how, but this affects the length. I know, it's totally deranged) and hopefully the sleeves will be reaching DH's wrists rather than his elbows. So I can see a light at the end of the VERY DARK AND LONG tunnel.

In an act of total naughtiness (knitting in secrecy so DH doesn't ask difficult questions about when he's going to get his jumper...), I have cast on for the French Market Bag why oh why do I torture myself with making things with yarn that has a totally different gauge to what the pattern asks for? I must be a sucker for punishment, as you all know how much I love maths. Had to call in DH (HE did 4 unit maths at school, thank the gods). So fingers crossed it will turn out a treat.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Yay for SP5!

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you? as long as it feels nice against my skin, i don't care

2. Do you spin? Crochet? crochet looks too damn hard, but I now have a spinning wheel that I'm dying to try out!

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.) eczema, hence the need for soooooft stuff

4. How long have you been knitting? learnt when I was about 8 (I'm now 29), did it on and off over the years and started again in earnest about 2 years ago

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I do but it's not updated, I should update it huh!

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) I love smells that remind me of summer (jasmine, frangipani) and also citrus (neroli my absolute fave and bergamont is also yummy)

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? is the pope catholic and other such cliches?!

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I have a love for restoring furniture (not induldged in much these days due to Little Man - toddlers and power tools/paint stripper do not mix) I TRY to sew (not very well, yet I still ooogle over the designs in Ottobre magazine and go 'I could make that')

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like easy stuff - jamiroquai, john mayer, norah jones, I have 6000 songs in my itunes so it's pretty varied too.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? I love blues and naturals

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? there is me, my dh, our ds (18 months) our dog (george) and many fish (we call them 'the fishies')

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know) hmmmm, that's all a bit too deep for this time of morning

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? I really like angora, cottons, silk, anything natural really!

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? anything that squeaks, and I'm a bit over novelty stuff but I don't mind it when it's used as an accent in a tasteful way (the loopy scarf I've seen somewhere is an example)

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? socks! I love em, quick reward for minimum effort!

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? quick things, I am yet to try a bag but I'm looking forward to it

17. What are you knitting right now? a jumper (the MJ) I'm being good cause DH does the stern look if I pick anything up to knit cause he'd like to be able to wear his jumper before the end on winter (in, uh, 2 weeks time)

18. What do you think about ponchos? I'm a bit feh about them. I thought of doing one but the fad will be gone soon enough and I'll be left with something I won't wear

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? sometimes circs, sometimes straights, depends on the project. I am currently lusting after denise interchangeables tho

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? bamboo yummo, but then I don't mind aluminum, and plastic is ok too

21. Are you a sock knitter? I am now!

22. How did you learn to knit? my nana taught me

23. How old is your oldest UFO? it was the fuzzy orange bear (2 years) but now it's a stripey jumper from rowan that I have had for a bit more than 2 years. those damn arm holes are driving me nuts. the last time I went to work on it I put the arm on THE WRONG WAY UP!! as you can see my concentration was a bit off

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? I love grover (not really an animation but anyway)

25. What is your favorite holiday? deserted island, a good book and my DH & DS

26. Is there anything that you collect? home renovation magazines (in particular Living Etc, I have every mag since they started, I think over 5 years worth... one day I'll have my own house to use all that knowledge on!)

27. Any projects you want to make but haven't gotten there yet? where do I start? clapotis, rouge, slippers (soon), more socks, and every project I see everyday when I look at others blogs and start following links to things they have done.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I'm spinning around

Well not quite yet, and not in the Kylie Minogue sense (although totting around in teeny tiny hotpants shaking my thang does appeal... Maybe 10 years ago). I have been lent a spinning wheel and am going to attempt to spin some yarn up - any help and info would be MOST appreciated as I know didly squat about spinning. I have to get a few bits for it to be in working order, luckily I can order online (love the internet!).

Today I visited THAT LYS (yes the nasty ladies one) as they are closing down (hmmm, WONDER WHY??!!) and had stuff on sale. So I got some more DPNs (cause you know I'm such an experienced sock knitter now, gotta have all the tools) and some yummy Jo Sharp Silk Road Ultra in Lake and Rare Yarns Rare Essentials in Misty Topaz, mmm this is really nice. I hadn't seen it before and I must say I like. I have no idea what to make with them, but at 25% off (around $7 a ball for each - BARGAIN) I couldn't pass them up.

I have just joined up to do a CAL (craft along!) with a group of online friends, the idea being that everyone does the same project but it whatever craft they like. I, of course, will be knitting (cause you all know how much sewing loves me and my feelings toward it) so we are going to do slippers and I have been trying to figure out what yarn to use. None of what I have is thick enough (oh ho! is that a call to a LYS I hear!!) but I remembered a jumper I made many moons ago that I have never worn, it just wasn't... right. Nothing wrong with the way I knitted it or the pattern but you know when you think it's gonna be the best thing ever and when you finish it, it falls way short of expectations? So froggedy frog frog for you jumper that has sat unloved in a box forever. It's a hot pink mohairy type thing (gee I hope it felts ok), and will go just swimmingly with my hot pink dressing gown (such a tasty thing it is too).

The MJ is slowly coming along (does it do anything fast?) I am just past the neck shaping so soon all I will have to do is the sleeves and the finishing (groan) (why is it I have a feeling of de'ja vu....)

Monday, August 15, 2005

I *heart* socks

Socks rule. Yesterday I finally got around to making Little Man some socks. I wanted to make some out of the handspun angora that I got from Nundle Woolen Mills so his feet wouldn't freeze off at night (we've had a few coldies here lately).
So armed with my pattern, and my first attempt at using DPNS (I tell you, whoever thought up those little babies must have been smoking crack at the time) I set off in a Sock Making Frenzy. Now this was the first completed sock I had made, since the other socks I have been working on (the lovely Go With the Flow socks from Summer IK) were bring done on scrap yarn to see if I could actually do it and I ran out of scrap yarn when I got to the heel shaping, which was a bit pointless. But I digress.

So knitting, knitting, calling out to DH to come and get Little Man before I poke him in the eye with the DPNs as he tries to climb on me, knitting... you get the picture.

And voila! Here is the finished product. They are not quite right, but for a first attempt I am totally chuffed. After the first one was done I kept running over to DH to show him with a big beaming smile on my face. He thinks I'm totally looney, but was very proud!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Rats in the roof, angora on the needles

Yes you read that correctly - rats damn it.

And here I have been blaming poor defenseless possums for doing the ceiling shuffle everynight.
Tonight we are being driven MENTAL by the constant scampering so DH went up the ladder to look thru the manhole to see just how many possums there were. No possums, just rats. Gross.

Why rats? We don't have a dirty house, we don't leave rubbish sitting around the place, we clean. So why are they here?? AND WHY DO THEY INSIST ON STOMPING UP AND DOWN THE CEILING ALL FRIGIN' NIGHT LONG?

Apparently there are not too many there, maybe 3 or so. Tomorrow the Large Rat Traps are being placed. We will succeed.

Also discovered on the roof viewing, half our house has no insulation. Yes some smart cookie decided that insulation is not needed in a DAMN HOT COUNTRY like Australia. No need to lay the bats, just leave them in their bags lying about in the roof. Yes, that'll work nicely. And being winter we are freezing ourselves silly and wasting a fortune of money on heating so the rats can live in comfort in the ceiling where all the heat is going. Maybe this is why we have the rats, they have been telling all their friends that the warm place to be is the roof at number 17 where the stupid humans haven't laid any bats. Hmmm.

Onto the angora, a few months ago I got some yummo vegetable dyed handspun angora from Nundle Woolen Mills (had never been to a mill before, ohh I was like a kid in a candy store). I tell you it is GORGEOUS. I did a swatch to see what the gauge would be, and then chucked it in the wash to see how it felts. Felted quite nicely, although it could probably do with another go through the wash or a stint in the dryer as the stitches are fairly visible and it only shrunk by about 3cms all round. I'm thinking of doing some slippers and some socks with it. It's so lovely and warm and will be just the thing to keep my feet from freezing off while we make the roof sub tropical for the rats.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

No sleep for baby = trip to not-so-LYS!

Yesterday was just one of those days; when you know they need sleep and they won't have a bar of it.
So after half an hour of whinging (and that was just from me) we hoped in the car and took a long drive. My favourite LYS (not the nasty women at my close LYS, blurgh) is only about 20 mins away, but more time is needed for Little Man to get the proper amount of sleep, so we took a very roundabout way of getting there. Lucky for me he woke up just as we were arriving at the LYS (he's his mothers son, not one to miss out on the fun of a visit to the LYS!).

this store is great because they have a big box of toys for kiddies and it means I can plop him down next to it and he plays with the car cars and twucks to his hearts content.

They had a set of Denise Needles in there - ooooh I was tempted. But I held back, I really don't need them (but was almost won over when the assistant told me they were airline safe - perfect for trip to Turin next year!!). I casually mentioned them to DH after the visit and he's like 'well you never know what you might get for xmas'.. What a man!

I also had a drool over the Noro, such pretty colours. But you know, a teeny bit too rough for me. I like super soft against my itchy skin. But very pretty all the same.

I also had a sneaky peek at the Possum/Merino, so soft and purty. And also some Rowan wool/cotton that I'm thinking of getting to make my cousins new baby something out of (possibly the cute little kimono from IK summer 05) but I know I can get it cheaper on eBay.

But after all my ooohing and aaahing, I got nothing! Little Man decided that there were some stairs there that looked great to climb so I knew it was time to go. I'm not usually one to buy stuff without having a pattern for it, and as I didn't have the info on the Union Square Market Pullover (IK Fall 05) I couldn't even get a sub yarn (stupid me! I usually put this info into my phone but was my head screwed on properly?)

The MJ vers. 2.0 (Monster Jumper mark II) is coming along, I've finished the back (much better length, DH is worried it's too short but there is so much give in the rib it will be fine, and blocking will help). About 10cm into the front, I feel much better about it now.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Crime Scene

The evidence:

Exhibit A: the front of the Monster Jumper

Exhibit B: the comparison between the last jumper I knitted DH, and the size of the Monster Jumper

Exhibit C: the action taken on measuring said Monster Jumper

Yes it was too big when I finished doing the back but did I take any notice of that? Nooooo, it'll be ok, I said, DH likes em big, I said. And then when the front was done it was all too obvious that drastic measures must be taken.
So I am now up to row 50 of 170 on the back. Again.

Sentanced to knitting it again for crimes against gauges.

I started a couple of days ago but have been wallowing too much to post about it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Marking stitches

Just had to do another quick post to show you my handiwork:

Sewing bites

You know, sewing and me, we don't agree.

I have been trying to make some bumpers for little mans cot (he tends to thrash around his cot a bit at night and often wakes himself up). So I buy the fabric, the foam, some ribbon to tie it on with. And unfortunately cheap thread (mental note DON"T BUY THE CRAPPY CHEAP THREAD).

*So I sit down to sew, thread it all up, start to sew. Thread snaps. Deep breath, try again.
Sew for 4 inches, thread snaps.
Throw fabric across room, curse and storm out.
Total sewing time: 10 mins.*

Repeat * to * in another week or so.

So I go buy some Gutterman (should have got this in the first place, damn you frugal buying for no good reason but being too lazy).

So I sit down to sew, thread it all up, start to sew. No thread snapping! No need for deep breathing, or trying again!

So only took me about 1/2 an hour to complete it all, and it actually looks good and fits nicely.

Onto some knitting, still going on the MJ, only about 15 rows left on the front then I'm onto the sleeves. It has taken 16 balls to do the front and back so I'm hoping that 9 balls will be enough for the sleeves. Oh gee I hope so, hunting around for dye lots is not my favourite pastime.
I discovered a friend of mine from a yahoo group is a big time fan of knitty and has her own blog AND she is being kind enough to let me go in with a order with her from KnitPicks so I'm looking at elegance to knit the gorgeous Union Square pullover from IK's fall issue. But me not being good with the maths I can't get my head around the different gauges. I hear it will work from the smart chickies at knttty, but I just don't get it. If anyone is better than me at the maths can you explain it to me?? Just a short arithmetic lesson would suffice... or a link to a gauge conversion calculator thingy might be better when my eyes glaze over as you explain the maths to me ;)