Saturday, December 31, 2005

If I really loved you I'd knit you....two socks







The potential gift post, in which I record patterns I could knit if only I loved you enough. (And a preview of a small selection from the sock stash)

Pomatomus by Cookie A. (3 ply)

Achim's Socks by Marilyn A. Roberts (4 ply)

Travelling Wilbury Socks by Marilyn A. Roberts (4 ply)

Colourful Socks by Shepherd (4 ply)

Lux Sockees from the Brainy Lady's blog (4 ply)

Mirabella (4 ply)

Cut Your Teeth (mitred) Socks by Connie Freeman (4 ply)

Leaf Lace Socks by Celia Ng (4 ply)

Winding Road by Jan (5 ply)

Crusoe by Marilyn A. Roberts (6 ply)

Double Rib (8 ply) by Cleckheaton

Thuja by Bobby Ziegler (8 ply)

Not For Skinny Legs Socks by Sande Francis (8 ply?)

If I really loved you I'd knit you....a scarf, a wrap or a shawl

The potential gift post, in which I record patterns I could knit if I loved you enough.

Cozy by Danielle Schoonover (wrap)

Branching Out by Susan Pierce Lawrence (scarf)

Kiri by Polly Outhwaite (shawl)

If I really loved you, I'd knit you....a bookmark

The potential gift post, in which I record patterns I could knit if I loved you enough.

Pinetrees Bookmark from Yarnover

Tammy's Bookmark from Yarnover

Bookworm by Sarah Bradberry (for the kids)

Lace Patterned Bookmark by JP

4 bookmarks from Mary


Bookmark Leandra

Thursday, December 29, 2005

If you really love me, you'd buy me....a pattern

I'm about to reload software and I don't want to lose my links; so this is a list of my "patterns to buy" links.

Need to be Purchased:

Shrug Me Tender

Filigree Lace Jacket

The Plum Shrug

Arial

Graciously Provided by the Designer

Alene

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

3, 2, 1, Stash Reorganisation Sequence Has Begun

OH - DEAR - LORD

  1. I will NEVER buy yarn again (Unless, of course, it's a real bargain and no-one else would appreciate it's potential but me)
  2. eBay is for SELLING not for buying (Unless, of course, it's a real bargain and no-one else would appreciate it's potential but me)
  3. When one has 2 x 50 litre containers of UFOs, the genesis of which are lost in the mists of time and belong to two different knitters, one of whom gave birth to the other, it's time to STOP beginning new projects
  4. SABLE is genetic, there is nothing I can do about it (see 3)
  5. It's OK to knit gorgeous vintage yarn still in its original packaging. *Taphophile is a knitter, not a collector. Repeat from * until convinced.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Goodmorning Sunshine.

The Quality Control Supervisor woke me at 4am. Not just the roll over and groan kind of awake, but the full on, sit on my bladder, nudge against my head until I'm fully awake, kind of awake. Good-o, 4 hours sleep. I'm sure that dog is part cat.

Anyway, got up. Because it was still too dark to hang out the washing, had a play with the blog. Finally got an OTN section so I can update more readily, and a Coming Attractions section so I can feel the pressure of deadlines dream about what's next. Also took a heap of photos ready to download at work this afternoon. Guess who was so drowsy she forgot the camera? *k* Will also put up a "related projects" section, I guess.

Bought all the bits to make my PVC niddy-noddy this afternoon. Not as cheap as I thought it might be but quicker than waiting for a trip to Sydney to pinch some from David. (Note to self - having mates who are plumbers is good; having them 300k away, not so good). Mimimum PVC tubing buy was 2m ($10.70), and the t-pieces were $6.19 each, so $23.10 all up, with a metre of tubing left over. Now, just have to find the hacksaw.

Had just sat down to dinner when the kids rushed in - Lochie had a bindii in his paw and my surgery skills were required. Man, is that puppy strong. Neither the SIL nor I are light weights and it took the two of us to wrestle him down and extract the little sucker. All better now. Rosie has some sort of infection in her foot so we're off to the vet's tomorrow with her. Hopefully I can squeeze in a visit to a shop or two - the Salvos have a 25% off sale tomorrow.

In knitting news, I nearly got there with the Jacaranda Baby Cardie last night - but got blog distracted, and it's so tedious I was looking for any excuse. As was the DVD borrowed from my SIL. Woody Allen's 'Melinda Melinda' is pretty awful, although Aussie-girl Rahda Mitchell in the lead was interesting. Watched another romantic comedy with Mum after work - now I remember why I don't watch films much - predictable trash. Even the lovely John Cusack couldn't save 'Must Love Dogs' and Christopher Plummer was just embarrasing. Have the 'Corpse Bride' to look forward to tonight, though. Did I mention I was catching up on movies over the break?

COMING ATTRACTION: Folly

PROJECT: Folly
RECIPIENT: Me
MATERIALS: 30 x 50g balls Cleckheaton Country Heathers, 8 ply. Shade 1923, Dye Lot 714167, won on ebay 13 Dec. '05, $52.50 plus postage.
EQUIPMENT:
PATTERN: Folly by Jill Moreno in Knitty, Winter 2003
CHECK LIST:

  • tension square
  • back
  • front
  • sleeve 1
  • sleeve 2
  • source wool for flowers
  • knit all those bloody flowers
  • bands
  • sew up

DUE DATE: 30/05/'06

COMING ATTRACTION: Angelina

PROJECT: Angelina
RECIPIENT: me
MATERIALS: 1.4k 8ply homespun merino won on eBay 20 Nov '05, $26.55 plus postage.
EQUIPMENT:
PATTERN: Angelina by White Lies Design, given to me for my 40th birthday by Jejune.
TO DO: Wind skeins into balls; tension square (yes, really, a tension square), knit
DUE DATE: ASAP

COMING ATTRACTIONS: French Market Bag

PROJECT: French Market Bag
RECIPIENT: Me
MATERIALS: vintage Patons Aero rug wool in pink and green and Sultana rug wool in brown. I like to think of them as 'Musk', 'Leaf' and 'Chocolate'.
EQUIPMENT:
PATTERN: Polly Outhwaite's French Market Bag from Knitty Winter 2003.
CHECK LIST:
  • Ball skeins 29 Dec '05
  • tension square 3 Jan '06 4.5mm needles produced 22 stitches/29 rows over st st, so a the yarn isn't as thick as I thought it was.
  • test felt
  • knit
  • felt

  • NOTES: I can't help it, it's just too damn cute and there's this 500g of lucious vintage Patons rug wool in the stash that remind me of petit fours so it's culturally appropriate.

    COMING ATTRACTION: Mohair Rug

    PROJECT: Mohair Rug
    RECIPIENT: Mum
    MATERIALS: I really want a very soft pink mohair like Kidsilk Haze in "Grace" but not at $26 a ball . Update 2 Jan '06 - I caved and ordered the Haze from The Woolshack. Mum is worth it and I wouldn't have been happy with anything else.
    EQUIPMENT:
    PATTERN: Love the Kiri shawl by Polly Outhwaite on All Tangled Up. Something like it but square.
    CHECK LIST:
  • source wool 2 Jan '06
  • test pattern on another yarn - can't afford to stuff up on the Haze
  • knit
  • block

  • DUE DATE: 26/04/06

    COMING ATTRACTION: Shapely Tee

    PROJECT: White Lies Design Shapely Tee
    RECIPIENT: me
    MATERIALS: 11 x 50g balls Cleckheaton Cotton Soft COL NO. 1674, DYE LOT NO. 5046 won on Ebay 30 November 2005 ($12.50 plus postage)
    EQUIPMENT:
    PATTERN: The Shapely Tank plus Sleeves
    CHECK LIST:
    • tension square
    • back
    • front
    • sleeve 1
    • sleeve 2
    • bands
    • sew up
    DUE DATE:
    NOTE: This is a test knit. If the pattern fits and I like it etc., then I will be needing several of these in black.

    COMING ATTRACTION: Wire Bracelets

    PROJECT: Wire bracelets
    RECIPIENTS: Emily and Jessica
    MATERIALS: Fine wire, glass beads, bracelet closures
    EQUIPMENT: 2 x 4mm metal dpns, wire cutters
    PATTERN: Thread wire with beads. Cast on 5sts and leave a really long tail. In garter stitch, knit one bead behind each stitch until desired length reached. Stretch the knitting hard as you go otherwise it will stretch on the wrist, which is not a Good Thing TM. Cast off. Attach bracelet fixings with tails, weave in ends.
    TO DO: buy wire, beads and clasps, string beads, knit - begun 26 Jan '06, finished 28 Jan '06.
    DUE DATE: 10/02/06

    Monday, December 26, 2005

    PROJECT: Cabled Tunic


    PROJECT: JEC's cabled tunic
    RECIPIENT: JEC
    MATERIALS: 20 x 50g balls 8ply in bone purchased for $40 at St VdeP, Jan. 2005.
    EQUIPMENT: Bamboo needles
    PATTERN: Patons 8ply Family Arans, style 6
    TO DO: finish back, finish front, bands, sew up
    DUE DATE: 31/09/06

    PROJECT: Once More From the Middle Shawl

    PROJECT: Once-more-from-the-middle Shawl
    RECIPIENT: me
    MATERIALS: 18 x 50g balls Katia very thick alpaca, wool, polymide blend bought on sale at Lincraft late 2004
    EQUIPMENT: 6mm circular needle
    PATTERN: Instructions by Lynne Johnson in Australian Yarn Art: Knitting Stories & Designs by June Alexander (Crown Content, Australia, 2002). I'm doing the basic shawl but have added a moss stitch border.
    DUE DATE: 31/01/06. Finishd 9 Jan '06
    NOTES: Although I had 20 balls of Katia Kena, by ball 18 I was really over it. It was heavy and hot and it was taking 25-30 minutes to knit a row. So tonight I said, "bugger-it, that looks pretty bloody good, I'm done." Of course I had to start a new ball half way through the cast-off row, but that's OK. It's done.

    It's huge (pics later) and very warm. Across the shoulder's it's 250cm, the length from centre back is 125cm and the wing bits are 140cm long.

    Love the deep brown with little flecks of turquoise, pink and orange - sounds terrible, looks like a cuddle. May turn the two left over balls into a beret.

    PROJECT: Cabled Tunic

    PROJECT: Cabled Tunic
    RECIPIENT: Me
    MATERIALS: Cleckheaton Tapestry 8ply
    EQUIPMENT:
    PATTERN:
    CHECK LIST:
    • back
    • front
    • sleeve 1
    • sleeve 2
    • bands
    • sew up
    DUE DATE: 28/02/'06

    Problem: I have managed to knit most of the front using 3.25mm needles instead of 4mm needles. The front must be unravelled and the back and sleeves checked in case I did it on them as well.

    PROJECT: Candy Pink Baby Cardie

    PROJECT: Candy Pink Baby Cardie
    RECIPIENT: Baby Stash
    MATERIALS: Patons Stonewash cotton in pink
    EQUIPMENT:
    PATTERN: Peter Pan
    TO DO: fronts; bands; sew up
    DUE DATE: 25/12/'05

    PROJECT: Jacaranda Baby Cardie

    PROJECT: Jacaranda Baby Cardie
    RECIPIENT: Baby Stash
    MATERIALS: Crucci Raw cotton in Jacaranda Blue
    EQUIPMENT:
    PATTERN: Peter Pan
    TO DO: bands; sew up
    DUE DATE: 17/12/'05

    Sunday, December 25, 2005

    PROJECT: Kelly the Kelpie's Jumper

    PROJECT: Red Jumper for Kelly the Kelpie

    RECIPIENT: Kelly via her mum, RC.

    MATERIALS: 5 x 50g balls Cosy Wool by Lincraft (8ply) in cherry red

    EQUIPMENT: 3.25mm and 4mm bamboo needles; 3.25mm dpns; 3.25mm round needle.

    TO DO: Get Kelly's measurements(23 Dec '05 she has a 25" chest and 28" length); knit (started 24 Dec '05, finished 2 Jan '05)

    PATTERN: Basic Dog Coat from Patons' "It's a Dog's Life". The Miniature Schnauzer is wearing the exact coat and almost the exact shade as Kelly's.

    DUE DATE: Before winter '06

    Christmas Cheer

    All done for another year!

    Here's what Christmas morning looked like from the Magical Wishing Chair. Don't look too hard at the front garden - we've just finished the hard landscaping and haven't planted out yet. The scrubby little natives that remain have toughed out 7 years of drought and are staying, as I don't have the heart to do away with them. I'll just put nicer things around them.



    As it turned out, the kids loved their little presents and the cash. My brother's Fletcher Jones vouchers were what he ordered, my SIL was pleased (I think) with her scarf and Mum was happy with her requested cotton socks (bought not knitted) and Dad with his VFL history video. The dogs were just happy.

    Lunch turned out well and I managed to time the vegies just right this year (let's not talk of the rock hard, barely cooked, potato incident of 2004). Can highly recommend Father Mac's Christmas puddings, too.

    Made it home without incident, although Dad and I came close a couple of times. Glad he and Scott will be away for a few days at the cricket. Give us all some breathing space; Mum most of all.

    Home by 4.30, fairly whacked. Put "Last Orders" on DVD and took up the challenge of the leg bands on Rosie's Punishment Jumper. Another FO, thank you very much. :)

    Rosie's Punishment Jumper

    Materials: 1 x 50g pouffy novelty yarn in raspberry; an amount of Crucci angora and lambswool 8 ply in raspberry (bought 20 years ago when I worked at DJs); some cream chenille stuff I got a large cone of at Reverse Garbage years ago. (I REALLY miss living within walking distance of RG)

    Equipment: 3.25mm bamboo needles; 4mm bamboo needles; 3.25mm Aero circular needle; 3.25mm Aero steel DPNS.
    Pattern: Basic Sweater from Patons "A Dog's Life" book. This is what the basic pattern looks like on a miniature Schnauzer knitted by someone without the sadistic desire to make her dog a laughing stock. The pic of Rosie's jumper doesn't really show the true horror of that vibrant raspberry colour.

    The girls are deep in the chest, so Rosie's is a Large chest and a Medium length. As suspected, I didn't have enough of the rasberry angora, so there really aren't enough rounds of the body band, but I'm sure Rosie won't mind.

    The cream chenille is quite nasty stuff to knit with. It has no give at all and I'm sure it will run to ladders. The only other thing I've ever knitted with it was an opera scarf for Connor's toy lambie last January. It looked lovely with the jeans I sewed lambie (long story, but naked sheep are a motif, even among the non-knitters of the family) but stretched like buggery.

    Going back to knitting the jumper for Kelly the Kelpie now.

    Saturday, December 24, 2005

    FO, FO, it's Christmas time you know....


    Whipped up 6 santa sacks this morning (photos later): 1 for each child and 1 for each fur child. The picture is of the Quality Control Supervisor's sack, complete with stunt present (she had to give it back - it's part of the soft toys I collect for our breeder).

    The big sacks for the kids are huge - 75cm wide and 100cm long. Size is important here.

    The sacks for the dogs are from the off cuts. 37cm wide and 50cm long. I've already been told it's not big enough for Lochie's presents. Needless to say, Lochie lives with my brother's family! He is the son of my Quality Control Supervisor, born July this year.

    Anyway, I'm rather pleased with the way the bags turned out. Bought the 100% cotton fabric in the Home Yardage closing down sale. Must have been about April this year. The ties for the kids' sacks came from the sacks my SIL bought at Clint's last year and which disintegrated as soon as they were used. The ties for the dogs' sacks are old shoelaces that Mum had in her sewing cupboard and which were never going to be used in shoes.

    Also finished the "Fozzy" Feathers Scarf for RC.

    Materials: 4 x 50g balls of Patons Feathers in variegated brown and gold
    Equipment: 6.5mm hand made timber needles (bought them at the local Steiner school fete in November)
    Pattern: Cast on 30 stitches. Garter stitch until yarn runs out. Cast off. Darn in ends.
    Finished measurements: 190cm (75") long, 16cm (12.5") wide

    Also spent some time watching (well, mostly listening and doing other stuff) Pearl Harbour on DVD and sorting out knitting needle central. It's a set of library card catalogue drawers that I was given a couple of years ago and which is perfect for craft equipment storage. I will photograph, promise. I labelled most of the drawers so I can find what I need quickly and put orphans into pairs. I find twist ties the best way of keeping needles in pairs or DPN sets.

    Oh and Pearl Harbour is tedious in beyond belief.

    Peggy's gone to bed early so that Father Christmas will come sooner. :)

    Merry Christmas to one and all.

    Friday, December 23, 2005

    There ought to be a law...

    about actually coming in the library and expecting to do research on the last working day of the year!

    Being a nice boss I sent the staff home at 1pm anticipating a quiet afternoon in which to organise my diary, tidy my office etc. But no. A donor arrived with stuff for us and because he didn't have anything else to do, thought he'd stay and talk ALL afternoon. He was there at 1pm when I got back from lunch and left at 4. I also had a very nice woman actually want me to retrieve stuff from stack and assist her with research. I KNOW it's my job, but honestly, I had Things To Do. They'd all gone by 4.45, though, which was nice.

    Quick trip to Coles' for the last of Mum's groceries. It wasn't too busy, and the good thing about this time of year is that you can talk to people without them thinking you're completely loopy - you know smile at them and wish them a Merry Christmas without being snarled at.

    Managed to find all of the Christmas presents last night and promise I will wrap them tonight before a needle is lifted. No really, I will! Even managed to find Peggy's present from last year (I couldn't find it last Christmas morning. Luckily dogs aren't particularly well versed in Christmas etiquette, so a couple of schmackos hastily wrapped in discarded Christmas paper made her very happy.) All presents to Mum's tomorrow. I'm needed on deck early as we are going to cook the meats tomorrow and Dad's invited people over for morning tea! Just what we need Christmas Eve! How lovely, we get to spread Christmas cheer. :) Will whip up the kid's santa bags as well. Something I've been meaning to do for 363 days.

    Very excited about a Christmas SnB with HappySpider, Jejeune and Othlon between Christmas and New Year. We get to play with our presents in the company of People Who Understand. Then it will only be two weeks until our SnB proper. There's a knitting group which meets at the Yamba club on a Thursday night each month. Must find out which night it is and if I can fit it in.

    OK, I'm going to wrap presents now, I promise - just a soon as I feed the dog and hang out some washing.

    Thursday, December 22, 2005

    Santa's little known 10th beast of burden ...


    the reindonkey. Rosie belongs to a friend in WA. It made me smile.

    Just when I thought I was safely able to put the feathers scarf for RC away, in she walks this morning with two new balls! It's easy to knit, right and I'll be doing a Good Thing TM.

    Also got Kelly the Kelpie's measurements, so I can start the winter jumper for her right away. Virtuous I tell you!

    Now I just have to find and wrap all the Christmas presents. I'm thinking of instituting a new family tradition, cleaning up Aunty Taph's spare bedroom a Christmas present hunt at Aunty Taph's.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2005

    Only 5 more sleeps


    until I can spend a WHOLE DAY knitting. Bliss!

    The lunch for 30 last Sunday went well. I was completely RS afterwards, but at least there are leftovers - so no cooking this week. My visitors arrived Monday night so the cold meat and salad was fine with left over fruit platter for desert from the morning tea Christmas party for my volunteers and staff that I prepared that morning. All that food preparation on Sat, Sun and Mon gave me a blister on the right pointy finger - ow. I'm glad there are only 8 of us for Christmas lunch.

    While I was waiting for my guests to arrive on Monday (two hours late!), I decided to punish myself some more and cast on the Feathers scarf I promised RC. I may have had a couple of glasses of wine when I made that particular decision! At least it goes quickly and she chose a rather nice russet brown and gold colourway so it doesn't much look like I've skun a muppet although there is a passing resemblance to Fozzy Bear. Finished the second ball this lunchtime but it's too short and she's decided to buy another ball when she can remember where she bought it. I have a feeling this will be OTN for some time. If anyone out there has a single ball in this colour way, please LMK.

    The yarn she bought for Kelly the Kelpie's winter jumper is lovely, though. It's rich cherry red in a reasonable quality wool, so will be enjoyable to knit with. I'd like to start that soon, so I've got her things out of the way and I can concentrate on Folly and Angelina.

    Speaking of punishments, I don't think there is Raspberry Angora left to do the leg bands of Rosie's Punishment Jumper. Something may come to light in the major stash reorganisation.

    The visitors left 45 minutes ago. David was shown LOTS of yarn swift pictures and is going away to make me one. Martha, my dressmaker's dummy, was a freecycle find and came sans base. I rescued the base of an old pedestal fan from a dumpster outside work earlier this year and she quite happily rests on it. David's going to make a shaft for the swift to fit this base so I don't have to give precious house room to two large bases. Isn't he clever? Let's just hope he is FAST.

    Had meetings out of the office yesterday and managed a quick trip to Vinnies on the way back. You know you're addicted when you give up your lunch hour to op. shop. Scored some wool on knitting machine cones -

    * 250g pink 3ply wool (for the baby stash or some dying experiment It's a soft pink, so would look great overdyed or hand painted with cochineal based dyes in varying intensities)
    * 120g 2ply navy wool (for Marta's Yarns Rectangular Shawl with Sleeves)
    * 300g tweedy brown 8ply (dunno what for - something to give away or practice on)
    * 250g olive boucle (for some-undefined-future-project, possibly a shawl )
    * 225g ball of natural "greasy" wool by Jumbuk of Barinsdale (a hat for David, maybe. Probably should make him something if he manages to pull off the yarn swift). Looks like a 12 ply.

    Of course with all these cones I'm dying to get my hands on a yarn baller. I may have to disappear under my parents' house Christmas morning to find Mum's. I KNOW it's there somewhere.

    Also scored a Trent Nathan linen dress. I've got one in black, so I'll know it will fit. Long sleeves, a-line, with very smart drawn thread work. Rather chuffed with it, actually. Will be just right for Christmas day - long sleeves to protect my fair skin and cool enough for the heat.

    Wishing you all a stash-enhanced Christmas and an FO New Year!

    Sunday, December 18, 2005

    FO! London Baby Jumper

    At last, a finished object. The London Baby Jumper is all sewn up and ready for despatch.

    The colour is glorious and the wool is beautifully soft.

    Now, what's next? Socks?

    The Cleckheaton 8ply from eBay arrived today - yes, packages on a Sunday! It's a gorgeous green with a rust fleck - kinda tweedy. Yum.

    A serious stash reorganisation is fast approaching. My mother gave me a sneak preview of her stash yesterday - I may never need to buy 8ply again! Room must be found. What a terrible dilemma - more wool ;)

    Wednesday, December 14, 2005

    The Clayton's Entry

    Well the Evil Twin turned 40 to no ill effect (that anyone has yet noticed).

    I had a lovely weekend trip to Sydney to stay with friends and attend the final Song Company concert for the year. DIVINE. I got to SING with the SONG COMPANY! (OK, we all got to sing Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer, but I still sang WITH them).

    Nice to catch up with Yvonne and Dave in Picton (to collect presents for the Canberra crowd and take books for release), Al and Robyn, Kylie and Sherri (more books to release *sigh*), and Gaye and David of course. David is going to have a go at making me a yarn swift. He's so clever. If he can make me a bed (he did), then a yarn swift should be a doddle. Reckons he can probably knock one up before they come down next week and maybe have a go at a ball winder as well.

    Spent the day itself with Mum, op-shopped a little in the morning then took her to her excercise class for lung patients in the afternoon. Dinner with the parents, early night.

    Not a huge amount of knitting going on. Started the bands on Rosie's Punishment Jumper and finished the London Baby's jumper (except for the sewing up). Knitted matching hat with hilarious result. I followed the pattern exactly and it's far too tiny. Don't feel the least inclined to re knit it, so the jumper will-do-just-nicely-thank-you-very-much. Will try to finish it tomorrow night, but don't like my chances. I've got 30 or so people coming for lunch on Sunday and must shop for food and clean the house before then. Oh and mow the lawn and get all the washing done by Saturday and get the spare room ready for Gaye and David on Monday and... oh dear, I can feel one of my multi-level lists coming on!

    Won some more wool on ebay (natch). 1.5 k Cleckheaton 8ply in a mossy green. Think I'll knit Folly in that and use the other green wool to make Angelina . Jejune, who is the bestest mate a girl could wish for, bought the pattern for my birthday.

    I'm going to buy the Filigree Lace Jacket as well in the New Year and use up some of my stash. What with that and a desperate desire to knit socks, I think the priority list is going to have to be rethought.

    Friday, December 09, 2005

    The new gift for 40 is "citron"

    My evil twin is turning 40 soon. I, of course, am remaining 17 36. ;)

    Today my gorgeous staff, colleagues and volunteers gave me a suprise afternoon tea and my gift was an Imperial mandarin (to plant in the garden, donchaknow), and a block of Lindt Intense Lemon dark chocolate. We also had a honey and marmalade cake, and the birthday cake was orange cupcakes, iced and arranged to look like balloons. There was also citrus flavoured jellies.

    Mum and Dad are giving me a ruby grapefruit for the garden as well.

    Add this to the garden's lemon, lime and limequat (think cumquat but with limes) and it will be Chez Citron around here quite soon. I'm thinking margaritas with the limes, gin and tonic with the lemon, and vodka and pink grapefruit juice once they start cropping. Now I just have to get some pomegranates (I REALLY want a pomegranate hedge) and I can make grenadine for Tequila Sunrises. Yum, how would that be, a Tequila Sunrise with fresh mandarin juice and home made grenadine?

    This image is for a Grapefruit Campari Martini - I LOVE pink drinks!

    Thursday, December 08, 2005

    In a scientific survey...

    4 out of 5 of women (at dinner last night) thought that knitting at the dinner table was probably not OK, mostly because food could stain the wool. God love 'em and not a knitter among them.

    The dissenter was me. :)

    Wednesday, December 07, 2005

    When is it ok to knit?

    Seriously, where is the knitting/no knitting line drawn.

    I attended a meeting of a community group last night. Instead of the usual speaker, during which I will knit, no worries, there was a choir performing (Canberra Celtic Choir - quite fun, considering joining, although this may interfere with knitting opportunites). I just couldn't whip out the needles during a performance. Why is it that I can knit during a guest speaker, but not during a performance? I did knit during the business meeting that followed, so the evening was not a complete loss, knitting wise.

    It got me to thinking about the boundaries though.

    Work -
    • during tea and meal breaks, weekly staff meeting - YES
    • on a service point, in a meeting with the Minister, during annual appraisal - NO
    • interminable teleconferences - that's what they are for, surely. That and emailing staff for hot beverages to be brought in, peferably with one or two of those nice Venetian biscuits I've been hiding behind the out of date herbal teabags.

    Driving -

    • at traffic lights and in a prolonged jam - YES
    • at speed in a suburban area, next to a school - PROBABLY NOT
    • across, say, the Nullabor, in a car with good wheel balance and cruise control - TEMPTING

    Exercising -

    • swimming - BEST NOT
    • walking - YES, but advanced fairisle and aran may be a bit ambitious
    • jogging - Yeah, right, as if I'd ever jog when I could knit instead.

    Tuesday, December 06, 2005

    My name is Taphophile, and I am an op-shop addict...

    I'm REALLY glad I've stopped keeping count of the frequent shopper discount cards our local St Vincent de Paul has given me. It has to be more than 10.

    In what was a quite busy day, I did manage to do the bands of the London Baby sleeves (thank goodness for red lights) and buy some more supplies from Vinnies.

    4 pairs of needles (1pr brand new bamboo - hooray; 3prs vintage Patons) $4 the lot
    2 stitch holders (the ones like big safety pins; not my favourite kind, but they were $1)
    2 brand new cable needles, also $1

    Another store had some great patterns:

    A 1970s sirdar book of suits (quite freaky), and some modern cotton patterns. 20c each!
    and, a VERY big cane picnic basket - just perfect for stash management. Not cheap at $25 but I did get my 15% discount and it will hold HEAPS of wool and look quite pretty, too.

    Photos when I can borrow a camera.

    Monday, December 05, 2005

    Mad Monday no more

    The family calls this day of the week "Mad Monday". It stemmed from my mother's part-time job when we were kids. She worked Friday nights, Saturday mornings and all day Monday at David Jones' for many years; picking up more hours during the week as well. So Mum had to be at work at 8.30am, Dad packed off for 8.00am and my brother and I got to school. She worked until 5.30, so the other end of the day was pretty mad as well.

    Today was a Mad Monday 2005 style. I over slept (having been up writing my knitting priority list far later than is good for me); Dad called in late to collect Peggy AND wanted a chat (read "lecture"); there were two loads washing on the line that had to come in and several jumpers lying on the tops of clothes airers, having done a mass hand-wash late Sunday, that also had to come in, be folded and stored. Nothing was ironed to wear and my "new" patent leather ankle boots (local Salvos, $10 on Saturday) had to be relaced. Twice.

    Consequently I didn't get to work until 9am (my usual time is 8am) and this morning was the morning that the senior managers were making us breakfast. By the time I got to my desk I was 2 hours behind and the day hadn't even started!

    Combine all of that with the fact that we are late getting the interpretation up for our latest exhibition and I have to write a script to read about it for 13 minutes on radio tomorrow and Mum needed grocery shopping done this lunchtime, panic was setting in.

    I am now, however, quite serene. I am going to count my blessings

    1. Happyspider emailed me a pattern that I admired at SnB the other night,
    2. Jejune bought beautiful things at our local wool shop (the dreaded Stitch 'n' Time)
    3. Received a lovely email from a new BookCrosser.
    4. Bought a copy of Vogue Knitting International at lunch time (Jejune having tipped me off that they were in store)
    5. Managed a sneak peak at VKI over coffee late in the afternoon
    6. Mum had a big bag of cherries for me courtesy of Uncle Johnny when I delivered her groceries
    7. Found a reasonable tasting soy cheese in the supermarket and had ham and "cheese" croissants for lunch (croissants left over from Senior Managers' breakfast)
    8. The first issue of Yarn arrived
    9. My copy of "Great Big Knits" (1992) by Dawn French and Sylvie Soudan ordered off Abebooks from England arrived and it's in mint condition.
    10. Nearly finished the front and back of the London Baby jumper.
    11. Won 3 larger sizes editions of Sandra on eBay.
    12. I'm about to turn of the computer and spend a quiet night in (unexpectedly as the function I was meant to attend was postponed).
    13. I'd only intended to do 10 blessings and I made it to 12, no 13, no 12. Oh bugger it, I'm going to knit and eat cherries now.

    Project Priorities for the December and the first quarter of 2006

    Yes, more resolutions. Lists are meant to keep me honest! ;)


    PROJECT: Once-more-from-the-middle Shawl
    MATERIALS:
    EQUIPMENT:
    TO DO: finish the bloody thing
    DUE DATE: 31/01/06

    PROJECT: 2 wire bracelets for the twins
    MATERIALS:
    EQUIPMENT:
    TO DO: buy wire, beads & clasps, string beads, knit
    DUE DATE: 10/02/06

    PROJECT: My cabled tunic
    MATERIALS:
    EQUIPMENT:
    TO DO: unravel front, check back, bands, sew up
    DUE DATE: 28/02/06

    PROJECT: Jumper for Lochie
    MATERIALS:
    EQUIPMENT:
    TO DO: knit from stash yarn
    DUE DATE: 28/02/06

    PROJECT: Rug for mum
    MATERIALS:
    EQUIPMENT:
    TO DO: source wool (I really want a very soft pink mohair like Kidsilk Haze in "Grace" but not at $26 a ball), knit
    DUE DATE: 26/04/06

    PROJECT: JEC's cabled tunic
    MATERIALS:
    EQUIPMENT:
    TO DO: finish back, finish front, bands, sew up
    DUE DATE: 31/04/06

    PROJECT: Angelina
    MATERIALS:
    EQUIPMENT:
    TO DO: Wind scanes into balls; knit
    DUE DATE: ASAP

    PROJECT: Socks for Mum and Scott and MEEEE!
    MATERIALS:
    EQUIPMENT:
    TO DO: well, you know, knit them...
    DUE DATE: ongoing

    PROJECT: Baby stash
    TO DO: keep knitting
    DUE DATE: ongoing

    PROJECT: Folly for me
    MATERIALS:
    EQUIPMENT:
    TO DO: knit
    DUE DATE: 30/05/06

    PROJECT: Reclaim knitted bargains
    TO DO: unravel; skein; wash; dry; weigh; ball; devise fiendishly creative ways of using the wool
    WHICH ONES: all
    DUE DATE: ongoing

    PROJECT: Make a swift
    TO DO: Talk to David(20 Dec '05)
    DUE DATE: ASAP but in reality "David Time" which is an idiosyncratic measurement.

    PROJECT: Red Jumper for Kelly the Kelpie
    MATERIALS: 5 x 50g balls Cosy Wool by Lincraft (8ply) in cherry red
    EQUIPMENT: 3.25mm and 4mm bamboo needles; 3.25mm dpns; 3.25mm round needle.
    TO DO: Get Kelly's measurements(23 Dec '05 she has a 25" chest and 28" length); knit (started 24 Dec '05)
    DUE DATE: Before winter

    PROJECT: Find the bloody wool winder
    DUE DATE: 25/12/05

    PROJECT: Make a niddy-noddy
    DUE DATE: 01/01/06

    PROJECT: Retrieve Mum's stash
    DUE DATE: 01/01/06

    PROJECT: Organise my stash
    DUE DATE: 02/01/06

    DONE
    PROJECT: London baby Jumper & Hat
    TO DO: finish front; finish back (05 Dec '05); sleeves (08 Dec '05); sew up (18 Dec '05); hat (11 Dec '05)
    DUE DATE: 25/12/05

    PROJECT: Feathers (yuk) scarf for RC

    TO DO: Not throw up while knitting it
    DUE DATE: soon(24 Dec '05)

    PROJECT: Rosie's punishment jumper
    MATERIALS: 1 x 50g ball pouffy novelty yarn in raspberry; an amount of rasperry angora 8 ply; some cream chenille stuff I got a large cone of at Reverse Garbage years ago.
    EQUIPMENT: 3.25mm bamboo needles; 4mm bamboo needles; 3.25mm Aero circular needle; 3.25mm Aero steel DPNS.
    TO DO: body band (15 Dec '05); leg bands (25 Dec '05)
    DUE DATE: 27/12/05

    Sunday, December 04, 2005

    Clapped Out.

    My resolution for this week - STOP READING KNITTING BLOGS.

    I'm so sick of seeing Clapotis in various shades and states of completion that I may well scream if another one hoves into view. I love Knitty as much as the next obsessed knitter, but do bloggers read anything else? Clapotis is everywhere. It's like a virus. OK, rant over.

    Much progress on the London Baby's cabled jumper. As I am substituting yarn (whenever do I not?) I was unsure if I'd have enough to finish the job. Turns out there's plenty, so will probably do a hat as well. It's a tres easy pattern and quick to do. Did heaps last night waiting for the Chinese takeaway to arrive. Does anyone else think 1.5 hours is a long time to wait? Was lovely when we got it, but 9pm is rather late to be eating. Particularly late when I hadn't had breakfast yet!

    Did even more this afternoon at Mum's. Went up to watch the Hockey championship matches with her. Fantastic match between China and Argentina for the bronze medal (Argentina won). Not so good match between Australia and the Netherlands for the gold. Both matches were draws and went to extra time and penalty strokes. Luckily I was using bamboo needles. If they'd been plastic, I'm sure I would have snapped them I was gripping so tightly at times. The Netherlands won in the end and it was the right result. The young Australians played well but don't have the experience or maturity yet to take the Netherlands in a grand final. Bodes well for the Commonwealth Games and the Beijing Olympics, though.

    Should have the front and back of the London Baby jumper tomorrow and will start the sleeves tomorrow morning as my portable knitting.

    It's probably time to prioritise the next few projects as well. I'll do that tomorrow, as I'm a bit weary now.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2005

    Meet the Quality Control Supervisor

    This is Peggy. She is the Quality Control Supervisor around here. Originally she wasn't happy about knitting. Knitting needles are sharp and take up hands that could otherwise be occupied patting and hugging. She changed her mind when I knitted her "Triple Choc". She and her sister, Rosie, got not quite matching jumpers this year. They are pure wool 8ply and feel warm and soft.

    Rosie, on the right, is wearing "Mocha Dream". Rosie lost "Mocha Dream" one stormy night (it was recovered some months later) and one of my OTN projects is a punishment jumper for Rosie called "Raspberry Ripple". It's made of cream chenile with a raspberry angora and a raspberry novelty yarn. The other dogs are REALLY gonna laugh when they see her in that one. That'll teach her!


    The weather has turned so cold here, both girls have begged to go back into their jumpers at night.

    I have no will power...

    Popped into the newsagency to see if they had the latest Vogue Knitting International (they don't until 23 December - Merry Christmas to me if I can brave the shoppers!) but came out with Simply Knitting (including free Rowan pattern book and some pins) and Knitting (which has a great article on wire knitting). A little treat on a busy day. No more shopping for me, though. Particularly as I have to find the sub for next year's Song Company season. Now THEY are worth it!

    On a positive note, I've started a jumper for the London Baby. Yummy emerald green in a size larger than anticipated!

    So looking forward to Stitch n Bitch on Thursday night. We're all bringing our favourite thing from during the year. Think I'll take my wire and bead knitted bracelet.

    Am also looking forward to my first issue of Yarn magazine which should be here next week.

    Sunday, November 27, 2005

    FO! Gumnut beanie for London Baby.


    A baby beanie in a stunning green. Just what a little gumnut needs in cold old London.

    Materials:
    4ply Peter Pan pure wool.

    Needles: 3.25mm vintage bakelite. They were orange with green ends and looked fabulous against the green wool!

    Pattern: This one is for a newborn.

    Adapted from an old pattern I made hundreds of times when the first crop of babies were born 11 years ago and also donated many to fetes and market stalls. Great for stash-busting. I couldn't find my 3.25mm double needles, so had to knit it on straights and sew it up.




    Saturday, November 26, 2005

    Op shops are evil!

    A quick visit to a couple of local op shops this morning and my stash has exploded.

    750g of a creamy 8ply wool ($12)
    250g of bottle green 8ply wool ($2)
    400g of not quite new brown tweedy 8ply wool ($5)
    3 pairs bakelite needles ($3)
    Stitch holder ($0.50)
    100g of Cleckheaton varigated pinks baby DK ($2)
    bag of assorted crochet cottons ($1)
    Katia knitting magazine ($2)
    400g Katia apricot ribbon yarn ($8)
    450g Katia red and white varigated cotton ($8)

    I estimate at least 8 nascent projects in this little lot. I even managed to LEAVE some quite nice yarns behind!

    Oh well, off to bag up my haul. As penance I must do the ironing before I pick up my needles tonight.

    The bugger is that I forgot to take a pile of books to cross. I had heaps of grocery themed releases all lined up. Still, got all mums grocery shopping done, so I have achieved something today.

    Friday, November 25, 2005

    Mouse is cactus


    Sewed up my no-brain, no-time mouse last night and it looked completely hideous! So much for that as a way to use up the scraps. Threw the lot in the bin.

    On a positive note, managed to finish one of the fronts of the jacaranda baby cardie, and am a third of the way up the other front. Have also started the fronts of the pink cardie. So progress on proper projects at least.

    Jejune's new niece/nephew is due in about a week and is in need of warm hats, I heard today - so beanies, caps and other headgear will be the order of the day. Might do those first and the planned cardigan a bit later.

    I'm desperate to start on my socks but will resist until the baby stuff is done. I will need a portable project soon, though.

    Thursday, November 24, 2005

    FO! SIL's "Old Shale" Shiraz Scarf

    Woo hoo! Finally finished the mohair scarf this morning with about a metre of wool to spare. Now to finish a few other projects!

    The intention is to finish a few before I start anything new, but left bereft of a no-brain and portable project, I grabbed some scrap wool and made a mouse from Patons "Big Book of Little Projects". I've knitted one and started another - all in traffic light and other little gifts of time during the day. Mind you, the woman beside me at a pedestrian crossing who asked me what I was knitting, looked daggers when I replied, "A mouse". I'm sure she thought I was taking the piss.

    Very excited that my ebay green homespun arrived today. It's a gorgeous colour, but not as soft as I expected. About 1350g - so almost exactly enough to make Folly! I'll knit the sleeves shorter anyway. PLEASE let there be enough. Now I've just got to find some odd balls to knit all those flowers.

    I cannot believe that I actually BOUGHT a jumper today. Called in to my local Vinnies between meetings and picked up a few things that fitted (quel suprise!)for me and for my SIL, including a cotton mesh jumper. I think I'll cut it down the middle of the front and bind in some velvet ribbon - it will be more useable as a cardi than a jumper. It's a soft brown colour, so will be perfect for this season's fashions. Damn, in danger of being fashionable as well - what a day!

    Also picked up some extra double ended needles for wire knitting - must get back to that soon. There's a sweet bracelet on the Spun site, although I think I prefer the one I made in August, and a fantastic keepsake box on AntiCraft.

    AntiCraft is great. Makes my inner goth glad. Lord, was it really 20 years ago I flirted with Gothdom? The approach of my 40th birthday is spinning me out, just a little.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2005

    My first ever TASDA meeting

    on Monday and I got to meet Lynne Johnson , a knitting hero of mine! I love her Women of Fibre website and have had a basic "once more from the middle" shawl on the needles for ages. She showed us some of her work - I loved the sleeveless, cowly thing and then we did some finger crochet which was a little tedious, but an interesting technique. Oh, and TASDA is Textile Art and Surface Design Association. They SO need a decent website. The only problem is no further meetings until February!

    Bought a copy of the Queen Elizabeth II book of knitting patterns and afternoon tea recipes, "Keepsakes from Mother's Table". Lots of patterns and several fantastic recipes. What could be better than knitting and cheesecake? Only $10 and a VERY good cause. Will get a few more for the SnB girls.

    Jejune and Othlon came with me. Their creativity and enthusiasm are infectious. We saw some examples of recent workshops. Othlon was very excited by the reconstruction of old garments. There was also a wearable art parade and lots of laughs. I joined and Othlon might, too.

    TASDA have some great workshops and next March is having a retreat weekend - a whole weekend to knit! So pleased I went. Also, it's one of the few meetings where sitting and knitting all through it doesn't raise eyebrows or ire.

    I won some lovely green merino homespun on ebay - isn't she beautiful? She'll be the basis for Jill Moreno's Folly. Of course there are several other projects to complete first, such as all the Christmas/new baby knitting and that never ending "once more from the middle" shawl.

    I'm also bidding on some mohair - I'd love to make Mum a rug for her birthday in April.

    What with all that going on, I've also managed to release a lot of books, and even got a few catches.

    This one got from a rest stop next to Lake George (about 80 k from Canberra) to Newcastle airport and is now in Murwillumbah, I think, and one I left in Starbucks last week is on its way to Bahrain. It's fantastic that these books travel more than I do! My favourite catch for this week, though, has to be this one. He must have known he wouldn't like it when he picked it up, but he journalled it anyway.

    Sunday, November 20, 2005

    FO! Sabavana's "Feather & Fan" Jacaranda Scarf

    Sabavana's having a special birthday. Being cash poor and yarn rich, I pulled out the needles and created this for her.

    It's an original design, but not particularly so - surely lots of people have knitted one just like it. Gauge is unimportant. I just knitted until I'd had enough.

    Materials: 3 and a bit 50g balls of Crucci Raw Cotton 8 ply (DK) in a lovely jacaranda blue.

    Fantastic texture, although after knitting in wool, it felt quite rough on my hands. Soon got used to it, though. I picked up a bag of this yarn in jacaranda, ecru and mauve at a market stall. Paid $10 for the lot (about 15 balls).

    Needles: 4mm bamboo

    Pattern:
    Cast on 42 stitches

    Row 1 Knit (the right side).
    Row 2 K3, purl to last 3 sts, k3.
    Row 3 K3, *(k2tog) 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times, (k2tog) 3 times. Repeat from * to last 3 sts, k3.
    Row 4 Knit.

    Continue until desired length is reached and cast off in knit on row 1.

    Saturday, November 19, 2005

    FO! Sidewinder Hat

    Beige Sidewinder Hat, designed by Celia Ng.

    Materials: 50g ball of Patons Totem (8ply/DK), beige.
    It was the only ball of Totem I could find that didn't have a putative project attached to it! Not a particularly inspiring colour, but fine for an experiment.

    Needles: 4mm vintage faux tortoiseshell.

    Pattern: Sidewinder hat, designed by Celia Ng, on the Southern Cross Knitting site.

    Knitted sideways in garter stitch with a simple cabled band. Utilises provisional cast on, short rows and grafted seam, all techniques new to me, as well as cable. A good pattern to for beginners to learn techniques on.

    It only took a few hours to complete. I was home sick and couldn't settle to anything. It looks good on Jejune who is petite, but looked hideous on my boof-head. If I were to knit it again, it would need to be longer and bigger and the cable band deeper..


    Pics courtesy of Jejune.

    OTN - SIL's "Old Shale" Shiraz Scarf


    This is a gorgeous Cleckheaton 12 ply mohair. I picked up 2 x 50g balls and a small amount of another ball in a Salvos store some time last year and have been waiting for the right project to present itself.

    The photo does not do it justice. The wool is a rich maroon colour and the pattern quite delicate. With the pattern being over 5 stitches, there is no wrong side to the work.

    Materials: About 110g of Cleckheaton Mohair, 12 ply (worsted). It's 92% Mohair, 4% Wool and 4% Nylon. 100m to a 50g ball.

    Needles: 7.5mm plastic

    Pattern: Found just the right pattern at the Mielkes Fibre Art site. Old Shale is fancy looking but easy enough to do, and frankly the gauge doesn't really matter. I'm just knitting until I run out of wool.

    Vital Statistics (added 24 November)
    18cm (7 inches) wide, 175cm (69 inches) long and fluffy.

    This pic from the Mielkes Fibre Art site.


    Friday, November 18, 2005

    Crikey, I did it.

    That was easy.

    Having thought about this for weeks, a glass of wine and a need to procrastinate was all it took to make me a blogger.

    So what am I procrastinating about? Well the need to clean up the spare room to find my camera cable for a start, reinstalling software on the laptop, hanging out the washing, putting the dishes away and starting any of the books currently needing to be read either for book group or as part of a BookCrossing ring. Manyana....

    More importantly, what was I drinking? Just finished a Kruger Wines, Carinya Sauvignon Blanc 2004 from the ACT Wine Industry Network club. Fresh little white - good for quaffing but not for impressing guests.

    On the needles at the moment (pics to follow)
    *Jacaranda blue cotton cardie for the next baby boy
    *Candy pink cotton cardie for the next baby girl
    *Shiraz mohair lace scarf for SIL's Christmas present
    *Ecru cabled tunic for JEC's birthday (ok, she had her birthday already, but she'll have another one!)
    *My neverending winter shawl that's been so close to being finished for 12 months

    Next in line
    *Wool cardie for JeJune's soon to be born niece or nephew in London
    *Socks in that fantastic Opal wool for me