Sunday, July 22, 2007

Outta here!

TTWC 2007.82

Stunning sea green Patons Overlander. The yarn was composed of two softly spun singles plied together. The subtle colour changes were endlessly entertaining, but an indication of my general level of distraction this week was that this took me 4 days to knit and I started the decreases 5 times before I worked out I'd had the wrong number of stitches the whole time.
How delighted was I yesterday to spot a sock (Opal self-striping the same as Five Ferns has just finished) being knitted during my seminar paper? I may have excitedly mentioned it during the presentation. Aah, the heart, such a lovely sleeve accessory.
OK, so this blog will be largely unattended for the next few weeks. I will have to walk to the nearest caravan park for internet access (how very Home & Away) or join the local library ($3 for visitors) which is only open 3 part days a week.

SEVEN THINGS WEEK 6 - I didn't lie last week, I just had a few things that had to go this week.
  • 30 something items of clothing - tops, skirts, trousers, jackets, coats, jumpers, socks and scarves - all to the women's refuge. Most are new or near new, or in the case of the socks, still in their packets. Some I'd intended to sell, but imagining being forced to leave home in a hurry and trying to get clothes to fit someone my size made this a very easy decision. I don't have an exact total - the last figure I remember was 27 and a lot more went into the box after that. GIFT
  • 137 books through BookCrossing for chucking out the car window the whole way to South West Rocks. BOOKCROSSING
  • 8 fabric remnants GIFT
  • 3 little bags with wooden/cane handles. Purchased at the usual boutiques with the intention of using the hands for knitted or felted bags. Well that didn't happen and I know someone who just might use them. GIFT.
  • 10 TTWCs - some to Stasia, some to the refuge GIFT
  • 63 pairs of wrist-warmers. I'm claiming these as the wool came from my place. Some to Stasia, some to the refuge. GIFT
  • 1 x digital camera - my Kodak for Dad
  • 1 x battery charger for Dad
  • 4 x rechargable batteries for Dad. OK, these are slightly cheaty, but they aren't coming back and they were here for some months.
  • 1 recent fashion mag courtesy of TSS to another journal junkie. GIFT
  • 1 hand knitted beret for the TASDA raffle. DONATION
  • 6 cooking mags GIFT
  • 1 TTWC Jr beanie held in abeyance from last week. GIFT

OUT 266


  • 4 magazines from TSS
  • 1 reel knitting in elastic (50c)
  • 1 digital camera (gift)
  • 1 battery charger (bought with my Xmas/birthday gift vouchers)

IN 7


total for challenge 559
(a little over 93 things a week average)

I am only just now starting to see some clear space, but there's a lot more to go yet. When I get back, I start on the sewing patterns and craft books. Duplicate knitting patterns are on the hit list.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm almost with you

TTWC 2007.80-81.
The one on the right was last seen here. Isn't the little fairisle bit sweet. Lyn did most of the hat but I did the starting and finishing so I'm claiming it. And, Kate - no, I've never spotted one of the beanies in the wild, but I don't spend much time in Civic or at the meth clinic.


The coundown to South West Rocks is well and truly on.

WORK The only work related thing left to do is present a hastily prepared seminar tomorrow. All over by lunch time.

SEVEN THINGS I said that was over, but the last of the TTWCs and Mum's wrist-warmers must go to Stasia; the women's refuge is in need of all sorts of clothing but particularly clothing for larger-sizes so I've had a clear out and they need to be dropped off, and many books have been pre-released in anticipation of leaving them behind at rest stops along the route North.

DAD had his first lesson in using the digital camera tonight. The argument over whether to buy an adaptor for the battery recharger or to take the pack of 20 for $1.99 "ultra mega heavy duty" non-rechargable batteries was resolved when the camera chewed through the first two cheapies in less than 3 minutes. He's going to buy an adaptor tomorrow. We will repeat the digital camera lesson over the next three nights and I have engaged my niece to reinforce during the day as necessary.

I still have to pack his bag for him. Yes. Jaw drop moment - he can't pack his own suitcase. God only knows what box he will tick on the customs form about who packed his bag.

MUM sent home a list of requirements to take up to her, so those nee to be gathered up. She has asked me to bring no wool for her to give her hands a rest. If there is wool, she will knit it.

  • clothes are packed
  • toileteries are packed as far as possible
  • Supplies are packed - just the essentials: 1k coffee*, bodum, wool and silk handknitted bodum cosy, 1 x tin Heaven dark hot chocolate, 1 x eensy weensy balloon whisk to get the right amount of creaminess in hot chocolate, 1 x pkt teeny weeny marshmallows for hot chocloate*, 4 blocks Lindt 85%*, 2 x 4 litre casks of Morris of Rutherglen dry white*, 20 little tins of salmon*, breakfast cereal for fruity porridge*, 1 litre soy milk*.
* = Cook from the Cupboard. I caved and bought the hot chocolate mix (on special this week at Coles')

My HOUSE is still a tip. Sunday will be spent in a cleaning frenzy, no doubt. I'll be realistic - strip the bed, clean the bathroom, kitchen and fridge and have a general tidy up rather than a full on purge.

Also, the fibre/knitting decisions have not really been made. Developments up North mean I might not be able to take the spinning wheel and that changes everything.

Still behind with email and blogs. Sorry.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Step Up

News just to hand, there are some places still left in the knitting workshops at Craft ACT this weekend.

There's Lost in Translation session on Saturday and the not-to-be-missed double-bill on Sunday

Short Circuit Scarf: Denise Sutherland
Sunday 22 July, 10am to 11:30am
Learn how the magic of short rows can help you create a stunning curly whirly scarf, designed by a Canberra knitter (that would be me *blush*).
Bring 1 ball of 8-12 ply smooth soft yarn (not mohair, boucle, feathers, eyelash, etc), 1 pair of knitting needles that suit the weight of yarn or a bit bigger (eg 4-5mm needles of 8ply yarn).
Skill level - easy, all you need to know is how to cast on and knit. Pattern sheet provided.

The Toes and Heels of Socks: Penny Hadobas
Sunday 22 July, 11:30am to 1:30pm
Ever wanted to knit socks and been too intimidated to try it out? Come along and let Penny Hadobas (aka Happy Spider) walk and talk you through every step of the process and help you on your way to knitting.s deepest addiction. All ability levels welcome! Handpainted sock yarn will be available for sale at the workshop or feel free to bring your own (4ply or 8ply preferable). Please bring your own double-pointed needles.

Now you know that Miss Penny is our sock guru - how could you miss the opportunity to learning at and from the feet of the Mistress (and I'll let you in on a secret - she has a new sock pattern and it's gawjus. Be the first to see it at the workshop). Go on - email now, or ring in the morning. You know you want to.

Workshops cost $15 or $5 concession includes hot drinks and dainty bikkies as well as pearls of wisdom.
Bookings essential Phone: 02 6262 9333 Email: [Craft ACT Admin]

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Snap happy

Dad's home prior to leaving on the Trans Siberian Railway trip. My head hurts.

Lord love him, though, he returned with a "present". His first day away he found a digital camera and handed it into the police. He got it back today because no-one claimed it.

I've found a manual online - but does anyone have a lithium battery charger for an Olympus mju 300 they don't need - Battery Charger (Li-10C) ? Luckily it fits one of the USB cables I have.

Dad's still going to take my crappy Kodak with him because it is MUCH easier to use and because I've already bought him SD cards, rechargable AA batteries and a battery charger.

I'm behind in emails and blog reading but I did get my resume done today - the one I have to submit to reapply for the job I already applied for and got 3 years ago. Don't get me started on the ACT Budget!

Monday, July 16, 2007

TTWC 2007.77-79

And here's no. 78 being modelled, half-made, by the infamous Al Grassby statue after the Knit1 Blog1 opening. It was brass-monkeys weather, so it seemed fitting on many levels.

Seven things - week 5

Absolutely cannot belive that it's the end of week 5.

It is not so hard to actually let things go. It is difficult, though, to find the time to investigate and make informed and reasoned decisions. It would be simple to just open a cupboard and take, say, every third thing out and achieve the goal. But the challenge isn't really about disposing of items, it's about thinking about what I have, why I have it and what comes in, as well as what goes out.

I've certainly looked twice (or more) at purchases. There has been yarn left in op-shops (this made me twitchy and very uncomfortable and books not bought. I am reassured that this is a sign of personal growth, but I'm a little bit bored and a tad anxious.

Stuff is fun. Things are interesting. Most of the things I buy are from op-shops and they dwell for a while Chez Taph and then go on another journey. I've reassured myself that it's just like making regular charitable donations and the stuff is a bonus, but I have to admit I do love the stuff. I love a bargain, and while I can accept, on an intellectual level, that it isn't a bargain if you don't actually need it in the first place, the bargain impulse is very strong. I very much doubt I will ever kick it.

Also, I love stuff with a history. I like the stories of the things I have, and if I don't know their stories, I can imagine them. New things have short, dull and industrial stories that are of little interest. Old things resonate with the possibilities of the past.

Another aspect that is becoming clearer is that I can't just chuck stuff, I really like to find it good homes. I like to ensure the story continues. Again, this is not something likely to change. If I know you, you will just have to get used to little tokens of love in the shape of really good buys I know you could use.

  • (4) recent fashion mags courtesy of TSS going to another magazine junkie GIFT
  • 1 hand-knitted beret for the TASDA raffle. DONATION
  • 6 magazines, 1 beanie and several items of clothing are ready to go, but for one reason or another, didn't make it to the intended recipients, so can't be counted IN ABEYANCE
    OUT: 5 items


  • 14 items of clothing. On Saturday, the op-shops of Canberra were stuffed full of clothes that fit me. I bought some very beautiful tops, a couple of jumpers (which will be the basis of knitting patterns) a skirt, a jacket and a pair of long shorts. I make no apologies for these. When you are my size and you find brand new evening clothes that fit for $7 a piece and jumpers for $3.50, you do not spit in the face of the thrift fairies by leaving them there. I did, however, leave marginal stuff behind - stuff that although it fitted was not a good colour for me, or stuff that almost fitted. Trust me, this is a step forward.
  • 11 balls of sock yarn from Georgie who brought it back from Germany with her. This was a planned purchase.

IN: 25 things

The challenge has to stop here for now. I won't be home for an entire week this week and it's a bit hard to do this when I'm not here. I will, however, give it another go when I return.

NET OUT THIS WEEK - 20 things


which is an average of 50 things per week - or more than 7 times the required number

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Kilroy Woz 'Ere

Beanie 2007.76

Luckily the Double Chunk beanie only takes 1.5 hours or so, and they are made all the better for the 10mm dpns Olivia loaned me.

Photographing oneself wearing a newly minted beanie is helped by the medication, self-administered, found in 4 litre containers thoughtfully provided by Morris of Rutherglen. I am harbouring a small bug in the respiratory system. Nothing I can't drown.

Thanks for your words of encouragement concerning the serious leave miscalculation. I'm way beyond lists - the spreadsheets of to-dos are multi-level and multi-page. After about 15 seconds of arm flapping many items were immediately wiped off the lists; like promoting SnB, Knit 1 Blog 1 and Canberra Knitters through the many beginner knitting courses on offer in Canberra in term 3, and product development with The Shopping Sherpa. I still have to prepare a (non-knitting) workshop for Saturday week, recruit and train staff, and about a million other things.

I've narrowed down the take-away project to one of 3 and will probably do a cabled cardigan, either in a gorgeous green Cleckheaton Country, or a thrifty purchase of probable Bendigo aran weight in a natural creamy colour; only it will be longer and a-lined to accommodate the (many)womanly hip measurement. There may be time for tension square making this weekend - or not.

Another thing not being done by tomorrow (the intended deadline) is the Matinee Jacket pattern. Sorry all - it's in such a draft state that it would be irresponsible to publish just yet.

And to update you all on Mum's knitting progress. As of yesterday she's made 61 pairs of wristwarmers in the 4 weeks they've been away and is completely out of yarn (including a small care package I sent up). She's bought a few magazines from a South West Rocks op-shop (it's genetic!) and is having a little knitting rest in anticipation of my arrival with reinforcements.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Don't panic!

It has been obvious to others for a while, but today it became clear to me - I AM A NONG.

I've been working to a going away date of 28 July. Today I find out, that I really need to go away on 21 July. My leave form - the one I filled in - confirms it. Perhaps I need a break more than I thought.

My brain is a little overstuffed and the date kind of just slipped. Not only do I lose a whole week of organisation time - I lose a weekend of organisation time.

I have no clothes ready, no projects decided on and I was budgeting my work time with an extra week in mind.

In case of emergency, break glass

How cool is this - a yarn swift in a bottle!

There are more swifts and spinning wheels in bottles at Folk Art in A Bottle.

Thanks to Sharon B's In A Minute Ago Blog. Another fine local textile blog.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

TTWC 2007.75
The last of the Bendigo Rustic 12 ply, colourway Damson.

The yarn started out with Ms Spider. She made a Rogue Hoodie out of it. You'll be able to see that in the Knit 1 Blog 1 exhibition opening on Friday night at Craft ACT.

Spidey gave me her left overs, half of which became TTWC 2007.48 .

Then Judes began casting around for a project. Having settled on Cardigan for Arwen, she needed yarn, and used the leftovers to swatch. Then she unravelled her swatches and gave me back the yarn to make another Time Thief Watch Cap that will go to warm the head of a person in need in our fair city.

A good group effort, this one.

Monday, July 09, 2007

They need something to tell their therapists

TTWC (Jr.) 2007.69-71
L-R: Size 0-3 mos, Size 3-6 mos, Size 6-12 mos

The pink and white one in the middle has been spotted at a fashionable Canberra eatery, and the grey and yellow one (not a traditional colour combination for someone only 7 months old) made it to day care and back, but with some compliments.

If anyone knows a very young (about 3-6 months) Parramatta supporter, the blue and yellow one is theirs. Just let me know before Saturday.

Beanies 2007.72-74

The middle one is a slip stitch TTWC Jr, the other two are just playing around. All would fit a child about 12-18 months. The pink wool is a mystery chunky in the exact same colour as a Redskin - a lolly I love and crave. I got a little bit silly with the one on the right and instead of just drawing the yarn through the stitches, did 3 icords off the last stitches then plaited them together. It looks like the little known 5th Teletubbie, Niddy Noddy. eh oh ;)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

All Sundays shoud be so good

TTWC 2007.68
The last of the Katia Himalaya and Patons Ariel. I rather miss working that gorgeous purple.
Fibre Day at the Old Bus Depot Markets today was a blast. I helped out with the TASDA set up early on, then Spidey and I hit the stalls big time.
There was no blood spilled over desire for similar fibre but I may have done a bad, bad thing in relation to her lace knitting prowess. We had a lovely morning. There was still fibre available when we left the markets, but maybe not too much of Waratah Fibre's polwarth/silk blend, and Fibreworks' merinos and silks also took a bit of a hit.
I lapsed again with Cook from the Cupboard and indulged in tortilla and salad for lunch ($3.50) but drank my own bottle of water and didn't buy a coffee.
Spent a fab afternoon at Spidey's. I knitted, Spidey spun and she also hand carded 100g merino with 50g silk for me. We partook of a spectacular roast dinner (lamb from my freezer, vegies from Spidey's fridge) and with the Sherpa Monkey decided we were much smarter than all the Darwin Award recipients.

In between times, also managed to buy some local free range eggs ($5.60).

TOTAL SINCE 10 JUNE: $101.23

7 things week 4

  • pink suede shoes. I love these but they fall off and the dress they matched went ages ago. They are also impossible to keep looking good. VINNIES

  • brown patent ankle boots. I love these, too, but they hurt my feet and as cute as they are, scowling and cranky by then end of the day is easy enough to achieve when my shoes are comfortable. VINNIES

  • melamine tray. Don't know where it came from, but I don't like it very much. One less thing to maintain. VINNIES

  • grey wool machine knit skirt. I do like this op-shop buy, but it's on the tight/short side. Best not encourage the exhibitionist tendencies. VINNIES

  • 2 TTWC Jr. One to new baby Zara and the other to the lovely Naomi. GIFTS

  • pink pear bag. It's tough to let this one go but I haven't used it since leaving Sydney. It was my pistol shooting bag. It is just big enough for safety glasses, ear muffs, a hand towel, purse, phone, lippie and a small knitting project. Pistol shooting was excellent fun and a great way to relax. I was pretty good at it and describe it as yoga with a deadly weapon. Knitting on the range did rather freak out some of the guys, though. Heaven only knows why. VINNIES

  • 1 artificial christmas tree. It's been here for three years and I've never been arsed opening the box. VINNIES

  • 1 hand mincer. This was left over when a friend moved back to the States. I was pretty sure he'd never used it. Last weekend I tried to mince vegie scraps in it (kind of pre-composting). All I got was juice, eeuuww, and mush, but nothing came through the little holes at the front. I washed it up and left it to drain on the sink. The next day it had rusted! I put some bits in the recycling bin and others in the garbage bin - it was beyond reclamation. BINNED

  • 52 books through BookCrossing

  • 14 magazines - really old Vanity Fair, Better Homes and Garden and some strange hybrid craft/lifestyle mags that must have been donated. All at least 5 years old. RECYCLING
TOTAL OUT: 75 (and still there is no extra space in the house)


  • Yarn Magazine. It's an excellent issue. Buy it if you haven't already done so.

  • 2 hand-me-down mags courtesy of The Shopping Sherpa

  • 1 old Knitter's Magazine from Vinnies ($3)

  • 1 book bought with a gift voucher. Thrift to Fantasy; Home Textile Crafts of the 1930s-1950s. This has been on the wish list for a while so it was fate that it cost exactly the amount on the book token received a couple of weeks ago.
  • spinning fibre. Today was the Fibre Fest at the Old Bus Depot Markets. It's one of the Holy Days of Obligation for local fibre freaks. Not quite sure how to quantify this, but let's say 7, as that's how many projects there are.

IN: 12 items

NET OUT: 63 things


TTWC 2007.67

The last of the Patons Ariel (such a strange yarn) is getting it on with some Wendy 12 ply. There will probably be one more of this colour combination.

This week the the first stirrings of boredom with the Time Thief Watch Cap were felt. Maybe it's because I've not had a chance to knit much else for a fortnight, or because I'll be away soon and the need for time thief knitting will not be as great. There won't be red lights to knit at, meetings to tolerate etc. There will be walking, though, and I had intended to knit these on walks along the beach (shut up and leave my pathetic fantasies alone).

Maybe it's time for some other pattern development but I love the all-terrain charity aspect of the TTWC.

Speaking of patterns. Thank you for your lovely comments about the Mary Ann. I didn't keep detailed, or any, notes while I was knitting her although I have a vague memory of aiming for certain dimensions. After I've done the matinee jacket pattern (this week), I'll "read" the Mary Ann and write her up.

In Cook from the Cupboard news - I've been reasonably faithful. There was an incident at SnB with an Espresso Brownie ($3.95), but apart from that, total fidelity. There have been no posts because this week was a post-menstrual flesh fest that may have offended my vegetarian friends.

In a moment of panic, I realised there was less than a week's worth of rolled oats in the jar and no stewed fruit in the freezer and no, rolled oats and raspberry jam are not a great combination. Aren't you pleased I save you from that discovery for yourself? The hope was to make it through without buying more oats or fruit to stew. The discovery of two small boxes way in the back of the cupboard of Kellogs Just Right, which is largely rolled oats with some nice fruit and nuts thrown in, saved the day. Perfect - breakfasts should be easily taken care of for the next couple of weeks and porridge made from Just Right is rather decadent. A little bowl of luxury to start the day.

TSS made me a lovely gift of home-made hummus which I will enjoy with carrot sticks and a glass of wine before dinner this week. More luxury.

Other stocks which are low or non-existent now: soy milk, eggs, bread. This is the point where I wish that the neighbours with chooks were amenable to swaps and I'm desperately hoping that one of the supermarket chains has the preferred soy milk (Sanitarium light) on special in the next week or so.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mary Ann

I missed my 300th post yesterday, but in looking back this arvo, found I'd left this post in draft. It is only of real interest to the family, so scroll down for the knitting content.
A SHORT HISTORY OF MARY ANN JORDAN (NEE MCELROY) 1833 - 1923, my great, great, great grandmother.

In early 1848 with the intention of keeping a supply of labour, the British Government set up a scheme whereby free passages to New South Wales would be provided to female Irish orphans between the ages of 14 and 18 years. An Orphan Immigration Committee and a Board of Guardians were set up to care for their welfare and the first group of orphans arrived at Port Phillip during December 1848.

Two girls, daughters of Hugh McElroy, a Church of England parson (or a stonemason depending on which document you believe), and his wife Anne (nee Clarke) of Innerskillen, County Fermanagh arrived in company with 313 other female orphan passengers on board the Pemberton at Melbourne on the 14th of May 1849.

These young girls Mary Ann, a 16 year old house servant and her sister, Ellen, a 14 year old needle-woman, were immediately taken into service by Mr Mashan of Bourke Street Melbourne at annual salaries of 7 pounds and 5 pounds respectively. It was noted on their arrival that they were members of the Church of England and could read and write.

At the age of 19 and with the consent of her legal guardian, Mary Ann married William Jordan at St. Peters Anglican Church, Eastern Hill Melbourne on the 31st of August 1852. William, who was born at Aughton Common, Shropshire, England about 1822, marked the wedding register with a cross. Mary Ann signed her name.

William Jordan (who had the alias Middleton) had arrived on board the Anna Maria at Geelong on the 23rd of June 1848. He was a Pentonville convict who had been sentenced to seven years exile after an unsuccessful career as a shop breaker. Prior to being sentenced at the Central Criminal Court, London, in May 1846 he had been a printer. Before being transported he was trained as a carpenter.

William and Mary took up the Government's intention of providing labour with apparent enthusiasm having 13 children during their 43 year marriage. When William died of cancer on the 9th of August 1895 only five of those children survived him. One of them was Elizabeth Jane (Jinnie), born 29 May 1857, who married John Phillip Cockerill and became my g-g grandmother.

Mary Ann died of senile decay in her 90th year on the 31st of August 1923 . She was survived by 41 grandchildren, 59 great grandchildren and 5 great, great grandchildren. Mary Ann is buried with her husband at Creswick Cemetery, Victoria.

Her sister Ellen, who had arrived with Mary, married William Surridge and it is thought they had six children. She died on the 12th of October 1923 aged 87 years.

Mary Ann was described as a deeply religious person who had a dislike of Catholics and spoke of her early childhood in Ireland as one of continually digging peat in the bogs.

In her last years, Mary Ann would walk along fence lines remonstrating with the posts which she thought were Catholics and attacking them with her walking stick. Another contemporary report says that she was always talkative and even as an old woman quite capable of forthright criticisms. One of her granddaughters told a story that whilst she was discussing that favourite subject of the aged, the rising generation, she was heard to say "the trouble with young women these days is that they like the pleasures of the bed, but they don't want the children".

Apart from many offspring, Mary Ann left very little in the way of material goods. We have the wooden trunk which she was issued by the British Government for her personal possessions when she left Ireland. My grandfather got it from a Caddy cousin who'd been using it to breed ferrets in. It is this that speaks to me the most about Mary Ann's legacy - practicality, thrift, forthrightness and fortitude.

A moving memorial to the Irish Famine Orphans is at Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney.

In November, an ABC film crew interviewed Dad and me about Mary Ann for a Christmas special on the Irish in Australia. As a part of the interview I was filmed knitting and walking up Mount Taylor in 30C deg + heat . That bit of footage did not go to air.

At the time of the interview, we were invited to be part of a Christmas Day Mass in Sydney at the Hyde Park Barracks to celebrate the Irish in Australia, particularly the famine orphans. I was immediately siezed with the desire to knit a garment to wear; partly because the only summer frock I own is sleeveless and I didn't want to attend Mass with my arms uncovered and partly because I wanted to commemorate Mary Ann in my own way.

What was called for was something that was loose, light but covering and that would go with my grey and black frock. In stash was16 x 50g balls of black Panda Coral 8ply cotton/acrylic blend (51/49%) purchased at St VdeP for $10 in March '06. More than enough for a shawl of some description, I reckoned. Could I find a pattern I liked and which matched my yardage, tension and size requirements? Could I, feck! The only thing for it was to concoct something myself.

I give you the the Mary Ann wrap, which celebrates Mary Ann McElroy's qualities of thrift, practicality and fortitude. It's also rather pretty and is enveloping and comforting.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Weekend Blues

TTWC 2007.66

Apart from a lovely Friday evening with The Shopping Sherpa doing openings and launches and drinking other people's wine; an evening in which I sold a beautiful handbound journal of handmade paper to a handsome young man who was going off to be F Scott Fitzgerald and his lovely girlfriend, Daisy (ok, he thought he was going to be Indiana Jones, but I refused to indulge that fantasy), and had a long chat with Pepe of Pepe's Papierie and told him how to run his business (too much wine), including demanding better yarn at the Craft Store, I had a crap weekend.

It's my own fault. In my family, illness = weakness and is, therefore, a character flaw. I know that is complete balls but usually I just push through anything short of a broken leg. Actually, it took me 2 days to get to the hospital after I broke my ankle. Anyway, without external pressures (no parents to care for, no work, no SnB to attend etc), I gave in to a screaming case of menstrual cramps and spent most of the weekend on the couch watching 80s comedy series and recent films on DVD and working out the TTWC Jr. pattern.
Sounds good? Well a vile period without the aid of no-name cheezles and soy chocolate icecream is not fun. Honestly - just poke me next time I get that self-indulgent. Jeez, I should have just taken the dogs for really long walks and got a decent dose of Vitamin D and maybe broken the Cook from the Cupboard Challenge. I would have been in a better frame of mind today, that's for sure.
Am now giving myself a bloody good shaking and pulling myself together.

Time Thief Watch Cap Jr.

The arrival, imminent and actual, of the children and grandchildren of friends and colleagues has prompted several requests for a baby version of the Time Thief Watch Cap in the popular slip stitch pattern.

Yarn: 8 ply (dk) yarn. You'll need about 40g of the main colour (mc) and about 20g of the contrast colour (cc).

Needles: 1 x 40cm 3.75mm circular needle; 1 set 3.75mm dpns. The whole hat can be knitted on dpns if you prefer.

Notions: 1 darning needle for the endy bits, 1 stitch marker of choice.

Tension: 22.5 stitches and 30 rows over stocking stitch (or thereabouts)

Time investment: About 3 hours.

Sizing: To fit 0-3 mos (3-6 mos, 6-12 mos)


Using mc, cast on 72 (80, 88) stitches.
Place marker and join in the round.
K2, p2 rib for 10 rounds.
Knit 1 round (for turn up ridge)
K2, p2 for 3 rounds

Knit 9 rounds

Colour work pattern:
Round 1: Using cc, k1, slip 1
Round 2: Using cc, knit
Round 3: as row 2
Round 4: Using mc, slip 1, knit 1
Repeat rows 2-4, 4 (5, 6) times
Next round: Using mc, slip 1, knit 1
Continue in mc only, knit 2 rounds

Decreases: (change to dpns when necessary)
Round 1: *K6, k2 tog, repeat from *
Round 2 and every even round: knit
Round 3: *K5, k2 tog, repeat from *
Round 5: *K4, k2 tog repeat from *
Round 7: *K3, k2 tog, repeat from *
Round 9: *k2, k2 tog, repeat from *
Round 11: *k1, k2 tog, repeat from *
Round 13: k2 tog across round

Cut yarn leaving a tail of about 10cm (4"). Thread tail onto darning needle and run through all remaining stitches. Remove dpns and draw tail tightly. Pass the threaded needle through the cat's bum at the top and weave in. Weave in all ends. Turn up the brim at the turning ridge and bung on nearest baby's noggin.

Things you might like to know about how I knit this pattern.

  • It's called the Time Thief Watch Cap because, quite literally, I knit it in stolen time - walking to work, standing in queues, during staff meetings, at red traffic lights (shhh) etc... It takes about 30 mins for the cast on and final decreases time, the rest is bonus knitting time.
  • The fabric is meant to be reasonably tight to increase the moisture repelling properties and warmth of the hat.
  • I used a cable cast on, you can use whatever method you prefer.
  • I hate joining in the round so I knit the first round as a row and join at the beginning of the second round. The small gap is sewn together at the end with the tail from the cast on.
  • When slip stitching, some people slip purlwise and then knit as normal in the next round. I slip knitwise and in the next round knit the slipped stitch through the back of the loop. This stops the stitch twisting.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

7 things week 3

The week where stuff I actually like is on its way out but a bit more came in. There are no photos.


  • Wool. Yes, you read right. I got rid of wool. Some feltable vintage wool and some perfect for cupcakes wool. I also bought wool. I bought less than I ousted but I forgot to photograph or weigh any of it, so I'm calling it a draw. GIFT
  • 23 items of plasticware and other containers. GIFT

  • 6 vintage fabric remnants. There was no particular story to these except that they are all lovely in their own way. Most of my "story" fabric has long been used. Once was, the fabric stash was of similar proportions to the current wool and fibre stash, but I don't sew so much any more. GIFT

  • 1 seed sprouter. Yes I had a spare - always handy to have a spare. GIFT
  • 1 Addi Turbo circ. I didn't like knitting with it. This was a 4ocm one purchased to knit wash cloths on. The shank was too short to comfortably knit with and was just too slippy for the job. GIFT
  • 2 craft magazines. GIFT
  • 10 Time Thief Watch Caps to Stasia GIFT

OUT: 43


  • 1 set of short 2mm dpns, perfect for socks from the Salvos $3

  • 1 white kid mohair lace shawl from Vinnies $5 (not strictly speaking essential but it's beautiful and compare that to the $6 they were asking for the acrylic tea cosy and there was no contest)

  • 4 magazines - a hand-me-down from TSS.
  • 2 books from Salvos $1

IN: 8

Dilemma: I need glass jars for jams etc. Does the donation of these count? I'm tempted to think not because although they do stockpile, it's seasonal and they do get used.