Thursday, August 31, 2006

Operation Wipeout

Work is a complete bastard and the family even more challenging than usual. I am unable to control those things much but I must be in control of something, so this is the plan.

*cue the Surfaries* .... September is Operation Wipeout. Here's the list so far:

1. Unravelling

  • green opal sock (yep, I've called it a day with the mega sock. It turns out that I knit a whopping 2 stitches per inch less when knitting in the round - my gauge sucks like a Hoover) - 11/09
  • grey Kiri shawl (this may actually be cut and chuck because it's in Cleckheaton Studio Mohair)
  • navy Kiri shawl (also in mohair)
  • all reknittable jumpers earmarked for hats for the homeless (there are at least 3 of these)

Aran with bobbles - 9/09
Mid blue cardie - 4 or 5 ply - 515g 11/09
Mint green baby hat - 4ply - 50g 12/09

2. End Processing

  • press and wrap red baby jacket (10/09)
  • sew button on Rough Day Ruff (01/09)
  • finish embroidery on hats
  • put handles on loofah (01/09)
  • graft toe of baby sock A
  • line workshop sample and make up
  • cot sheets for Bek
  • sew tassels on novelty yarn scarf

3. Knitting

  • baby sock B
  • finish lacy rib sock A
  • knit lacy rib sock B
  • finish JEC's jumper
  • finish Celebate Vest
  • finish boucle short circuit curly whirly
  • finish navy matinee jacket
  • find and do something about Angelina (this will probably entail much muttering, measuring and probably unravelling)

4. Prep

  • organise hats for the homeless stash and equipment
  • organise baby stash including patterns and equipment
  • sort felted stash into colour

And then there's the Andean Plying Tools, the Niddy Noddies and the Lazy Kates that all need finishing.

Sometimes the outward sign of my inability to be in control is a radical hair cut (I wore a hat for 8 months the last time this happened), body piercing, contemplation of a tattoo or compulsive furniture moving. Another sign is the need to finish all projects currently underway and to over organise the various stashes. I think finishing projects and over organising the stashes is more positive than the other options.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Non-cow food

A note about non-cow, mostly soy products.

Yup, Margie, the soy cream cheese was Tofutti. The one I used for the dip was the plain one. There's also a herb flavoured one which is yummy, but it's hard to find. I've only ever found it in Coles' at Woden. It's not Philly but it's pretty good. I'll have to give the jam and tofu trick a go. I like mine spread on toast with home made pumpkin and sweet corn soup. You must be onto something though because the website has a recipe for a raspberry cheesecake. I don't recommend this company's fake cheese though.

There is a good soy yoghurt - King Land. Comes in a variety pack of peach & mango, strawberry, berries, blueberry.. The tubs are half size but the yoghurt is fine - not gritty which is the problem with most soy yoghurts. Also, it says it's organic and non GM. I'm told there are 250g tubs around, but I've never seen them. Pity because I prefer the berries to the other flavours.

Can recommended, the Sanitarium So-Good Chocolate flavoured soy drink. Not low fat but yummy. So yummy that only one litre a fortnight is allowed in this house. Sanitarium's So-Good Chocolate pretend ice-cream is ok, too. Not the real thing, but not too bad for the ice-cream deprived.

I find I can't have cow or goat's milk products, buy sheep is fine (go figure!). Lemnos make a very nice sheep's fetta.

If Sanitarium, Kingland, Lemnos or Trialia Foods would like to sponsor this blog, that would be fine. Am prepared to take food, or fibre, for comment.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Break in transmission

I'll be off air for a week or so - promise to look in on you all when I get the chance.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hate the sin not the sinner...

That song has been stuck in my head for the last two days and seems appropriate here. Well that and my secret love for bad boy Robbie. Oh the shame.

Yes I was a victim of child cr****t abuse. My mother cr****ted me a purple cotton bikini with matching poncho. Those of you have met me will understand how very very cruel that was.

We also had in our house, not one, but two cr****ted swan centrepieces. It has been my mission of many years to purchase all known patterns of this particular crime against taste to prevent other impressionable youngsters from suffering as I did. And now I find that Interweave has it as a freebie. Oh the inhumanity.

Pity me and understand.

PS I did macrame as a child. My mother was forced to display spider plants over the bath cradled in wonky cream pot plant holders and a really hideous macrame owl wall hanging. I think we can consider that some payback for the cr****t. Or, horror of horrors, the cr****t was payback for the macrame. A vicious cycle of evil crafts.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Et tu, Jejune and Spidey?

See how liberal I am. I allow your defences of the evil craft through unmoderated.

It's just me and the Yarn Harlot against the tide of crap.

Saying the hook is useful as a knitting tool for picking up stitches etc is fine. Using an electric chair is a great way to crisp up some vegies, but I don't want to put it to the purpose for which it was invented.

Scrapbooking is pretty dire. I did a workshop in it once (long story, it wasn't voluntary) and it was scarily persuasive. Mind you, so was the Knitting with Dog Hair book and certain extremist political movements, but it doesn't make it right.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cr****t rant (yes, another one)

Right, none of you had better ever try to convince me of the validity of cr****t again. No, I mean it.

Sometimes I feel really mean taking the piss out of cr****t and then someone does this. Go ahead, look. I'll wait.

Now I really hope he was being at worst whimsical and at best subverting the form, but I think he's quite serious about this.

I am an equal opportunity blogger. I think it's great that guys do needlework. More of them should. If more of them did we might get taken a bit more seriously. Do you really think we wouldn't be allowed to knit or even cr****t on planes in this country if the blokes in suits up at the pointy end of the plane knitted? For goodness' sake, they're called airCRAFT. But back to my point. I don't think it's stupid because he's a guy or even that it's cr****t (I could so knit one of those) but because it's a useless, tasteless waste of time. And just as I was coming round to the whole dishcloth thing, too.

To answer Kylie. The wool on my needles in what some may call gold, others may call mustard and now that I'm nearly halfway up the back I am secretly referring to as baby shit yellow, is a vintage Villawool 5ply crepe. I'm knitting a vest. We are calling it the Celebate Vest because I am not sleeping with the person it is being knitted for. Mon has a rule that she only knits for people who provide sex - she puts out so they should.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Thanks ladies

SnB was a tonic - thanks to you all. Much less grumpy now.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Aussie Junk

Yes, Aussie Junk is habit forming and deserves a frugal look.

It's Revolve by another name and at the Mitchell Resource Management Centre, aka The Tip.

You need to do a fair bit of digging to find gold but you can be lucky. Week before last I got a very large plastic tool box for woodwork, two videos (The Shipping News and Charlotte Grey), several uncut paper patterns including one for a really dinky apron which I'll share another day, some cotton wool on a big roll rather than in cotton buds, a couple of books for the collection at work and two intact 70s orange Tupperware containers for $5 the lot.

Pricing is variable and based on how the guy on the cash register feels at the time.

Weekend in Pictures III

Baby's first bobbin. Don't laugh, I know it's pretty average. The skein's at my parents right now - I'll photograph it over on the weekend.

That's my wheel, Bertie. If you look really closely you'll see some cream Corriedale cross on the wheel bobbin and some more of the brown stuff on the lazy kate to the left on top of the basket.

Quick trip to Aussie Junk at the Mitchell tip before making my way to the National Hockey Centre to watch a pretty poor match between Australian and Korea. Unispired hockey but where else do you get to an international sporting test for $10?

Cute timber box to hold sewing/beading supplies. 50c at Aussie Junk

So this looks like a child's toy, right?

Not now I've replaced the badly cut and drilled pieces of timber and with bobbins. Lazy kate, number 2. 50c at Aussie Junk.

To the left is my first attempt at navajo plying with the corriedale cross. Extremely bad attempt but I'm looking forward to trying it again. The green on the new lazy kate, is "Mermaid" colourway desisgned and dyed in cross breed by the Happy Spider. It's beautiful, Spidey, thank you. :) it will be plyed on itself eventually.

Here it is in it's green, fluffy glory.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Weekend in Pictures II

Sunday Op Shop

I love it when Vinnies opens at 9am Sunday and they have a all clothes $2 sale.

Bought this little lot before spinning on Sunday morning.

All pure wool jumpers, some very good brands, all destined for a very hot wash or two and recreation as felted home wares. Also in the pile is a sheer chiffon navy blouse with ruffles doen the front as well. Very Miss Moneypenny with my pearls and a wicked bra underneath. ;)

Blogger's doing the I hate photos routine again, so more later. Off to woodwork now.

Weekend in Pictures Part I

Hopefully the my whingey evil twin from the last couple of posts has gone away for a while - sorry about that, folks.

Saturday Craft Fair book stall buys.

This one was REALLY cheap and the technique is interesting if not the application in this instance.

Can see it being useful for making floor mats and stuff. I will so too make floor mats, so shut up all of you.

Gillian, I blame you for the Knitter's Stash. Well, that and I read somewhere last week that the author had just died. Seemed like I should buy her book. It's lovely. I almost want to knit dishcloths. Almost.

Sensational Knitted Socks is just that and it has tables for large legs and feet and lots of different patterns with instructions for working 4 needles, 5 needles and 2 circs - so worth the very expensive price tag.

Luckily the Happy Spider and I bought completely different books and we're sharing types. Her jumper book is lovely, too.

Don't have a photo of the lovely sock yarn I bought. It's a cotton and wool blend, with just a hint of stretchy stuff and nylon. Predominantly cream with black and caramel. Knitted it looks like an Affogato.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Thanks to you all for posting such lovely comments. I will now assure you all that my father will NEVER EVER EVER get a handmade object from me again.

Our little love-in of last Saturday was over within 12 hours. My mother has pneumonia and was in bed for most of the week before and a goodly bit of this last week, so I've been doing the cooking, shopping etc. for them. No biggie, happy to do it. That night as I'm washing up, Dad let's me know that they are expecting visitors to come and stay with them starting this Saturday just passed. No amount of "MUM HAS PNEUMONIA AND ISN'T UP TO HAVING PEOPLE IN THE HOUSE" dissuaded him. The competition for most selfish man on earth is pretty stiff, but the search is over - I have a winner.

Combine it with my runny, oozy, hacky cold and the launch last week of a major project that we've been working on for 2 years and I'm just a little stressed and ready to use my super sharp dpns on my nearest male relative.

This did not, of course, prevent much knitterly activity.

I finished the "Here and There Scarf" for Mum on Friday night. She loves it. Here she is modelling it for you. Please remember she's been REALLY sick.

The moss stitch Patons Velveteen scarf was finished the week before and she's been wearing it pretty much non-stop.

Mum's very tactile, so she loves how the chenille and the moss stitch play against each other. Because it's knitted double stranded on large needles it kind of looks woven.

Do you like how both scarves match her favourite top?

I had anticipated taking one of the visitors to the Craft Show with Miss Maree and me on Saturday - largely because to get the visitor out of Mum's hair and because I'd promised Miss Maree I'd go to the craft show with her. Visitors didn't arrive until mid afternoon, so Miss Maree and I went on our own. Having been assured by Spidey that it was safe to go because their were only two yarn stalls (and I won't buy from one of them because it's run by a workshop Nazi - I'll tell you the story of last year's arm knitting workshop fiasco one day), so I was confident of just being able to trail around with Miss Maree looking at paper craft, country kitsch and other easily resistable stuff. I was not told there was a craft book seller there! These books just followed me home. Well, I'd show you them, but Blogger's being a bastard again. To be continued.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Today I reached a significant milestone in my relationship with Dad.

As many of you know, Dad and I have an intense and difficult relationship. We love each other to pieces (although we got on better when I lived 300k away rather than 300m) and we argue like you wouldn't believe. We are very simliar, but he's had 25 extra years to become a stubborn, "I'm know best and want it my way - NOW" control freak. And he's male.

Of the many things that truly irritate me about Dad, is his inability to take most of what I do seriously, particularly if it's a "boy" activity.

Knitting is different because that's women's work and it just happens anyway. Women's work is, of course, much less important than men's work and must be really easy if Mum and I can do it. This is amply demonstrated by the many occasions on which he has given away a jumper or cardie knitted for him by my mother. My mother is an aran knitting genius and all of Dad's jumpers and cardies are works of art. He does not understand her less than enthusiastic appreciation of his cavalier disposal of her works of love.

Dad is not mechanically gifted. When I was a child my mother, who has an amazing mechanical intelligence, took evening classes in woodwork. She made me a piano stool, my brother a toy box and herself a hall table with exquisitely turned Queen Anne legs. For Dad she made a timber brief case and a dart board case that he'd always wanted. Not only did the dart board case never get wall mounted, he sold it for $2 at a garage sale and Mum gave up woodwork.

He openly mocked my enrolment in woodwork classes. However, before he knew exactly what it was and that I'd made it, he exclaimed over the beauty of the Adam swift. Since then he has tried to deny this, but I know that he remembers.

Dad recently had to remove an old organ from his Lodge. The new organ didn't fit into the timber organ case. Because he can't dispose of anything that may be of use to someone (I told you we were alike) he saved the timber and offered it to his brother-in-law. Uncle Max has not responded to the offer in anyway and this morning Dad said, without prompting or even me looking sideways at the timber, that if I'm doing this woodworking stuff, perhaps I would like it.

So there you have it. My father has made a significant step in his personal growth and our relationship by acknowledging, in his own special way, that I can do something he can't and by supporting me.

This is a good thing, right?

Before you answer, let me remind you that this now means I have a timber stash.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Weekend's off to a good start

Thursday night SnB was great. Lots of lovely women doing lots of creative things. You ladies completely rock.

Spidey gave me a bag of spinning fibre that she dyed all for my very own. It's called "Mermaid" and it's gorgeous. All different greens with a little bit of purple in there too. Can't wait to get started on it but have to do my homework for spinning class first. Will attempt photography tomorrow.

Met a friend for an early dinner at Manuka tonight. Being librarians we chose to meet at Paperchain, one of Canberra's superior and independent bookshops. The last time I was there the design section, while really good, was noticeably lacking in knitting literature. Not so tonight.

Having fallen in love with Norah Gaughan's "Here and There" cabled scarf (nearly finished, Mum, promise) and finding several of her patterns from a 1991 Vogue Knitting International that happened to fall into my op-shopping bag last week, and having been told it has some larger sized patterns in it, I have been lusting after her newest book, "Knitting Nature". The woman is a cable genius, and if there's one thing I like, it's a good cable. So I didn't even hesitate to buy the only copy in store - AT FULL PRICE!

Didn't hesitate in buying this, either. Also at full price.

Not good enough? Well dinner was lovely - lamb tenderloins in a honeyglaze with a tomato and herb salsa followed by crepes with warm berries and icecream. YUM.

We were joined, serendipitously, by a researcher that Sue knows who is doing his PhD on Australian musical theatre to 2000. As it turns out he needs to use the performing arts collection I've been building at work! He's already been commissioned to write a book and he will be one of our first serious researchers to use and publicise the collection. This is EXTREMELY significant for us and very timely. You really can't imagine how excited and pleased I am.

Got home to find a lovely thank you card from my SIL's SIL for the red baby cardie I made for Baby Penelope way back in Feb. It's lovely to get a thank you.

Enough excitement now, I'm making a pot of tea and will be communing with Norah and Stephanie for a little while.

Even the thought of cleaning all day tomorrow in preparation for a month of visitors back to back is not as daunting tonight as it should be.

Hope you all have a fab weekend.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

OMG, OMG, OMG (literally)

I was reading Yarn Harlot the other day and looking at her most recent travelling sock.

"That looks like Spidey's Socksual Healing Cancer Cure sock", I thought. "Nah", my thoughts replied, "couldn't be the same" and tried to dismiss it from my mind.

The thought kept bugging me, though - pesky thought. Reading a more recent post the Harlot mentioned what the yarn was - Opal sock yarn #3207. I still have the band from Socksual Healing so being the obsessive that I am, I checked.

OMG, OMG, OMG it's the same - does this explain the now legendary healing powers of Spidey's socks? Is this the Yarn Harlot's first recorded miracle worked through her acolyte the Happy Spider? Should we notify the Vatican that we have a new Saint in the making? St Steph - patron saint of sock knitters.

On a different topic - happy birthday to any horses reading.