Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Going, going, gone

TSS and Bells - the Jo Sharp books are yours. Will put them aside for next time we meet.

TSS if you want the swift back, just say the word. It's an excellent one, so you did very well. :)

The week that was

Last week was a busy one here at Chez Taph.

The Saturday trip to Young for the mega SnB was bookended with this last Saturday's trip to Braidwood for the Airing of the Quilts. In between there was

  • Some mild Sunday morning op-/bargain shopping (I now have a couple of spare copies of Jo Sharp's Knitting Bohemia for $2 if anyone wants one - that's what I paid for them at the Angus & Robertson stand at EPIC)
  • Sunday lunch of cherries with a friend and her children and checking out the knitting section at the new Borders (Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Without Tears, Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks: New Twists on Classic Patterns and the Yarn Harlot's Yarn harlot : the secret life of a knitter) and a whizz through Academic Remainders in Civic (Brendan Mably's Brilliant Knits: 25 Contemporary Knitwear Designs from the Kaffe Fassett Studio)
  • Sunday SnB with the girls - welcome to our newest recruit, Olivia.
  • work and work functions (at which I finally met The Shopping Sherpa who is even lovelier live than in her blog)
  • visitors to my parents' house for 3 days which meant much entertaining, organising and endless negotiating
  • another round of specialist visits with Mum (more hospital knitting)
  • an interview by the ABC for a forthcoming Compass program during which I found out there's a Chicks with Sticks knitting group at the ABC in Ultimo who meet during lunch times. I also knitted on camera while walking up a mountain in 30-odd degree heat - madness I tell you (photos to follow).
  • a day at the Airing of the Quilts in Braidwood with Mum and her visitors (photos and full report on disgusting stash enhancement to follow)
  • a night and a day of drying out much of my house after returning from Braidwood to find the washing machine had been pumping water into my house all day
  • gifts in the form of a ball winder and swift from The Shopping Sherpa. Thanks so much TSS - they are great.

Output

Washcloths 36 (really need 3 or 4 more by Monday)
Beanies 16
Shawl to wear on TV Christmas morning 0.05

Monday, November 20, 2006

Young at Heart

Sharon, Spidey and I went to Young on Saturday for a meeting of the SnB clans.

Entirely wonderful from the company to the stash enhancement opportunities at The Wool Room Country Store in Young. It is EVERYTHING you'd want a local wool shop to be.

...

After bribing Sharon's dogs (Patrick, Maeve and Erin) with white chocolate to be good while we were gone and collecting Spidey, we hit the road. We used the journey to introduce Sharon to Brenda Dayne's Cast-On podcast.

Sharon managed to ignore my "look, there's a Vinnies" at several small towns en route and the "ooh, they've got a market on this morning" at Booroowa. By doing so we made Young in about 2 hours - plenty of time to hit the local wool shop - The Wool Room Country Store before meeting Sharon's Mum and her SnB cronies for lunch.

The Wool Room is EVERYTHING one could want in a local wool shop.

The owner, Kate Sevier, is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, welcoming, kind and generous. She also runs a sheep stud, so the woman knows her fibre.

You might want to check out the photos on Spidey's blog of our visit to The Wool Room. We spent about an hour in there fondling yarn, browsing the extensive range of patterns, comparing colours, brands, textures etc. Kate has commercial ranges (Patons, Cleckheaton and Shepherd, Jo Sharp etc.) as well as some locally spun and dyed woollen yarn and dyed sliver. Needles were the usual range. There is also natural fibre clothing and accessories throughout the store and it was with some difficulty I left behind some gorgeous shawls, felted bags and throws. Sharon picked up some fab cotton t-shirts and immediately changed into one.

I cannot rave enough about this shop or it's owner. Go, buy stuff from her. She will mail order and we are now on the mailing list for special events and workshops and stuff. As Arnie would say "I'll be back."

Next stop was our lunch with Sharon's mum and her SnB cronies. Edith started the SnB when Sharon told her about how much fun ours is. The ladies meet at JD's Jam Factory every Wednesday morning. The women were utterly delightful, and I only hope I can remember their names. I was enchanted from the first moment when Betty handed us each a Sean Sheep pattern book she'd picked up at the local Salvos for 20c. Gotta love a group who welcomes me withop-shop gifts! Then there was Winona who used to breed Westies - so she won me over pretty quickly, too. There was my name twin and Patty and Margaret and Marie x 2 and Ann as well, I think. There was the woman who brought in a laundry basket containing a gorgeous baby layette and other baby stuff she had made. So very pretty and so very skilled.

Over what can only be described as very average food, we shared patterns and tips and giggles and jokes. We were made to feel like welcome friends and it was a blast.

Spidey and I have requests for patterns and Ms Spider has converted at least one more knitter to the secret society of sock knitters. We're invited to return. Edith also made a contribution to the swaps basket - get in quick.

Our third major stop was to Richens for cherries. We were advised this was the best place to go, so away we went. There are photos but Blogger is refusing to play.

Here I displayed a self-restraint not evident at the Wool Room earlier. I bought only the required 4 cases of cherries (one was for me the others were requests from family and friends) and a couple of better-than-Cherry-Ripe chocolates. I lugged the 20k of cherries to the car and Sharon took her Cherry Wine and small box of cherries to the car. Spidey, however, had the services of yet another sherpa to transport her box of cherries and bottle of cherry port the 10m to the car. The woman is a sherpa magnet. (Funnier if you could see the photo).

Home via Murrumburrah where we made a recommended stop at the Whichcraft & Coffee Cottage in Albury Street. A whole historic house crammed full of local craft goods and a small tea room. Some good crafty stuff, some not so good. It's staffed by volunteers and was opened n 1971 to stimulate interest in the town and district in both tourism and craft. Well worth a visit.

It was in the tea shop part that Spidey revealed a previously hidden prediliction for crime. While we waited for our scones and tea, she spied on display on a high shelf, several items of spinning equipement. There was a spinning wheel, a yarn swift (upside down but still recognisable), hand carders, some bobbins and a DRUM CARDER.

"Psst", Spidey hissed at me from the side of her mouth, her excitement only betrayed by the slightest trembling of the hands, "you create a distraction and I'll nick the drum carder." Furtively I surveyed the room: no staff in evidence, a direct route to the door and a ready supply of sturdy chairs to climb to reach the shelf. A tic began in Spidey's left eye and the trembling of her hands became more noticeable.

"OK," I assented. "Sharon, you go start the getaway car and open the hatch, while I knock over that pile of towels with cr*cheted edges and maybe the hats cr*cheted from plastic shopping bags."

Just as I made my move, our waitress appeared with the refreshments. "Drat, foiled again", I muttered as the silence of the scones descended.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Spotted

I love this community.

I met Jejune doing BookCrossing things on my way into Woden Plaza this lunchtime, Bells spots me looking at forbidden goods in the novelty yarn aisle at BigW not 10 minutes later (she's planning on a knitterly gift for her next fibre victim niece), and The Shopping Sherpa texts then rings me about cones of Wangaratta wool at Belconnen Vinnies. You women are the absolute BEST!

Biopsy day was yesterday. The mass in Mum's adrenal gland turned out to be a cyst which the absolutely charming Dr G. blew into thousands of harmless droplets to be dispersed in the fullness of bladder time. Actually, he said he aspirated it but I prefer the super hero version.

I am happy and weepy and officially finished my Christmas shopping. Christmas knitting on the other hand ...

Output
Wash cloths 29
Beanies 9.5

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Taph's Tools - stitch marker+

A year ago I'd never met a pretty stitch marker in the flesh. I was a loop of contrast wool girl. I was also a bread tag girl.

No, really - this makes an adequate stitch marker when no alternative presents itself. I was forced into it one day when I had absolutley no spare wool with me and I needed a marker. So now the old bread tie is useful for more than just a makeshift plectrum.


Since then, I've discovered they make great identifiers for circular needles. Grab a fine tipped permanent marker (I recommend the Sharpie which I use for work but which are now available in places like Woollies), and record the needle length and size.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Modern life offers many moments for incidental knitting

Remember this? It's the mystery 12-ply stunt wool from Taph's Tools last week.



Well it appears that this is an adventurous yarn. Red wool is like that, don't you find?

Anyway, it's had quite a week. It was spotted by the Head Honcho of my work place as I knitted and walked from the carpark this week. She admired the yarn and asked how long it took me to knit a beanie like this. When I replied, "Not time at all", I don't think HH believed me. It's almost true. It takes about 30 minutes of dedicated, not doing anything else but listening to audio books/podcasts/cds etc. to cast on, do the first round and the last 6 rounds of knitting.

The rest is done while other essential things are being achieved. Walking to work (not that I've done that in a while), walking to and from the carpark, waiting at traffic lights, standing in queues, sitting in staff meetings, in the down time during cooking dinner etc.

This weekend I got a few rounds done at the carwash. I love how the yarn matches the washing brushes.
It's now 2.3 beanies.

Output
Washcloths 27
Beanies 8.3
Victorian Cabled Wristlets (was mystery gift) 1 pair

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Au revoir, Margit

Sad SnB this evening - it being the lovely Margit's last.

She departed in style by finishing a Carla beret - seen here

and bringing a garbage bag full of yarn for the swaps basket. Forgot to take a picture of that, but here's another one of Margie in her beret.


Kylie also brought some very noice yarn for the swaps basket. Here's Kylie being mugged by Lulu, Jejune's very naughtly lamb.

And for those lovely people who asked, here's the link to the Victorian Cabled Wristlets, one of which is modelled below by the ball winder.


These took 50g of Bluebell (5ply), knitted double.

For those who think that spinning is too slow...



I'd be more impressed if there was actual fibre involved, but it's funny nonetheless, and as close to spinning as I've managed in weeks.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Short Post

So great to finally get to an SnB last night. Small but enthusiastic was the crowd. The Happy Spider came, fresh from moving into her new home, and newbie Caroline who's recently moved from the US and immediately found an SnB. She used to run one a SnB and she let me fondle her Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and rub it on myself. She also wants to breed alpaca and got to the alpaca show on the weekend (I didn't need to know that). Definitely a kindred spirit.

Looking forward to Thursday night at Starbucks very much.

Output:
Washcloths - 25
Beanies - 6.3
Other finished objects - 1
Jobs - 1 (for now)

Gratuitous Westie pic - this is Rosie the last time she was groomed. Happy smile, non?