Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Heavily based on the Worm Scarf by Julie Weisenberger of Cocoknits, in 100g of Emu "Mikado".

This was the only ball of the electric blue colourway. Sadly there are still 3 balls of the red to be knitted.

Yes, it would appear that I'm stash busting the novelty-type yarns at the moment. But that's a good thing, right?

I'd rather be this way

Hand-dyed 4ply weight polwarth and silk

Hand-dyed 4ply weight polwarth and silk. This yarn chose me. Twice it was brought across the room to me by knitters who know me too well and twice I put it back. Then it literally jumped out of the shelf at me as I walked past and I gave in.

Teeny 45g of hand-spun, hand-dyed wensleydale wool

To die for hand-dyed, hand-spun Dew Drop Fancy - see those sweet little clear beads?

Hand-spun, hand-dyed wool and mohair in a tweedy blend. Gorgeous. There are a few skeins in stash that will be put with this for a blankie.

Bamboo needles specially for Opal socks. $9 a set - buy them.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Unashamed of the strength of my needs

Others will have posted about how fantastic our day with Helen Rippin (above) of Waratah Fibres was but it's my blog and I'll bore you if I want to.

An early start meant a fatty breakfast at the golden arches in Goulburn where Spidey and I indulged in the mental chasing of sheep in a nearby paddock. Spidey also made the mistake of pointing out a couple of Westies in the carpark. I can be surprisingly speedy given the right motivation and my sprint to hijack Piper and Lucy, the wee Westie sisters, was just the excercise I needed. I won't go on - you'd have to love a Westie to understand. I may have delayed our trip by half an hour and made small children cry; I am unashamed.

Helen generously welcomed us into her home and arranged to have her friends, Glenda, Phil and Chris, there to wrangle us. Helen and Glenda have experienced the full-frontal attack on their wares by Spidey and me before - it was a sensible precaution.

Eleven of us, including the Monkey Sherpa, who charmed all with his fibre-fu, descended locust-like on Helen's home where a spindling class was set up in short order.

There was a cup of tea and some delicious home-made slices and pikelets, a quick trip to the auto-teller for extra readies (not just me), more S.E.X. and spindling.

Then there was lunch. Home-made gourmet pizzas (to add to her attractions, Helen is also a chef) and garden salad.

Lunch over, a dye worshop took place.

Then another cup of tea and birthday cake - KMS had the birthday we all wish for - and it was time for us to say good-bye.

Jealous? You should be. Helen Rippin's spinning and dying is divine. A BIG thankyou to Helen and her friends and to our Happy Spider, who organised our day.

Wanna see what I bought? Manana. ;)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Seven Things Week 8

Could not be arsed taking photos in really poor light conditions this week.

In (16)
  • 1 rug wool cutting measure. A gift from TSS. When I say gift, I mean if she hadn't handed it over I was stealing it, with force if necessary.
  • 1 bag grey 8ply . When the caller ID says it's TSS I know there's a decision or a pronouncement to be made. Usually it is "Yes, bring me the yarn you just found in an op shop". Sometimes, it's "No, TSS, you do not need the collected works of the Muppets on VHS", but usually it's "Yes, I'll take the yarn". This 8ply is part of a job lot I agreed to take for Mum's mitts. Most went to Mum (she's particularly thrilled by the 2 x 200g of Bendy 8ply for $4), but there's enough here for a garment of some description, so it's at my house.
  • 1 donated fashion magazine
  • 2 lipsticks. Each of my three lipsticks is at scraping out with a brush point. The Body Shop has new matte lipsticks in acceptable colours. Unfortunately they bleed like buggery - I am VERY disappointed.
  • 1 present, a beautiful and thoughtful gift. Festival of Birth celebrations are beginning 6 weeks early.
  • 3 big plastic tubs - excess from work. To store the beanies, wristwarmers, scarves etc for next winter. One for Stasia's Soup Kitchen, one for the women's refuge, one for special stash.
  • 1 vintage Patons pattern for the collection
    4 quantities of hand-dyed and spun yarn from Waratah fibres
  • 2 sets bamboo sock needles

Out (96)

  • 4 pairs pantyhose GIFT
  • 5 magazines GIFTS
  • 56 books BOOKCROSSING
  • 1 bag packing peanuts GIFT
  • 3 sewing patterns. GIFT
  • 1 shopping bag full of assorted bathroom junk - shampoo bought and used once or not at all, pots of pedicure cream gone rancid in unopened jars, unused smellies received as gifts from people who know me not, samples from magazines and show bags, colour rinses I moved into the cupboard 3 years ago etc. What could be recycled was, the rest was binned. RUBBISH.
  • 8 plastic containers. RECYCLING
  • 2 ceramic pump action lotion dispensers. SALVOS
  • 1 puppy harness. SALVOS
  • 1 OXO peeler. SALVOS
  • 1 cot organiser. SALVOS
  • 2 cook books. SALVOS
  • 1 pair sandals. SALVOS
  • 2 pairs boots. SALVOS
  • 7 old magazines. RECYCLING
  • 1 book for the ACT Heritage Library. DONATION

  • 3 beanies
  • 3 scarves

IN 16
OUT 96


Friday, October 26, 2007


Some of you are also sewers.

Here's a link to patterns that need a new home. Do let me know if you would like to adopt any of them. Aussies, only I'm afraid - postage is ruinous in this neck of the woods.

unravelledblog AT yahoo DOT com DOT au

Thursday, October 25, 2007

First Pissed the Post

It's been awhile since I posted drunk. I'll try to be more discreet this time. Should be interesting because I've misplaced my spectacles as well.

I'm going to shock you and use the "C" word. Yes, that's right, it's 2 months until Christmas.

Forget trying to get all that knitting done. Gift vouchers are what the muggles really want. That or the actual cash. We want them to want the knitted stuff, but they really want money. They know they are going to get the knitted stuff anyway. They know I'm we're compulsive in this regard.

What this is, is the post for your loved ones. It's the knitting equivalent of circling the Angus and Coote catalogue and leaving it in really hard to miss spots in the house like pasted to the back of the toilet door or sandwiched between December 23 and 24 in their diaries (not that I've ever done that or stuffed it in the space between the cover to the petrol cap and the actual petrol cap in the car because that would be dangerous).

What do I YOU want for Christmas?

Well, you want a hand-made, absolutley gorgeous knitting bag from The Shopping Sherpa.

You also want hand-dyed yarn from the Happy Spider and/or Monsqueak.

You want hand-dyed fibre from Ewe Give Me the Knits and hand-spun yarn from the Wool Dancer.

You also want a top-whorl spindle from Yarn Magazine to deal with the fibre and make your own art yarn, and a subscription to Yarn.

And to knit it all up you want Knit Picks Harmony needles from Donyale. OK, so it's the Options at the moment, but she'll be getting the Harmony in really soon.

***late edit*** - don't forget Jejune's Knitting Cards. She even has a Christmas one.

That and whirled peas.

None of these talented and wonderful people know I'm posting this - I have received no inducements - their wares are inducement enough.

Right, off to finish off that bottle of local organic wine and pass out over the latest novelty yarn garter stich scarf.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Basic Instinct

Because sometimes it's all about garter stitch scarves in novelty yarn.

One of the young men at work dubbed this the Sawfish scarf.

Heavily based on the Worm Scarf by Julie Weisenberger of Cocoknits, it's 100g of Emu "Mikado" (bought at the Bargain Hunter in Queanbeyan for $1 a ball) on 7mm needles. As far as novelty yarns go, this thick and thin blend is OK to knit with. 62% acrylic, 20% wool, 17% acetate and 1% metal thread.

As this took about four hours to knit and there are four more balls of the red, and one of electric blue in boodle, I foresee several more Sawfish scarves in my future. I've already cast on the second one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Boxed in

Beanie 2007.120 with Japanese Box

Double rib kid's beanie on 5.5mm needle using just under 50g of a plain olive green Twilleys Freedom wool (the last of the yarn donated at the Harlot Happening) and some variegated green Lang? 8ply knitted double donated by the Happy Spider.

An intensely satisfying improvisation over late night teev when it was too hot too sleep.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Casting (on) Couch

TTWC 2007.118 with sage flower (the Control beanie)

The Shopping Sherpa and I are getting pretty good at this movie knitting. I cast on and knit the band prior to the movie, TSS knits to the decreases and I do the decreases during the film. Then I darn in the ends over a bevvy afterwards.

While I'm doing the decreases and finishing off, TSS grabs the next prepared hat. We usually get a full hat and one or two part finished ones done per film.

TTWC 2007.119 in Cleckheaton "Landscape" with my weeny mandarin tree

I love how the yarn coordinates with the crushed brick mulch in the background.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Seven Things Week 7

"Happy is ... the woman who needs only one pair of good shoes and a library card."

MargB had a link to this excellent article on consumerism by Catherine Deveny.

In (21)

  • 1 jar key. Fabulous articles, don't know how I managed without one. This is about the 5th one I've bought. I keep giving them away in a proseletysing manner.
  • 1 pair of sock's worth of yarn. My mother went to Scablight and all she bought me was this yarn. It was $2 a ball. Do you think Mum is trying to tell me she wants more socks? She made a point of saying she didn't want socks in this yarn, though, but apparently her black socks will need replacing soon. At least she appreciates her handknits. She hasn't stopped wearing the Clafoutis since she wrenched them from my grasp, I gave them to her and has been showing them off to the neighbours.
  • 1 postcard of sheep from Nanna's collection
  • 4 magazines from The Shopping Sherpa.
  • 3 pieces of fabric from Aunty Marg's craft stash. 2 pieces of Christmas fabric and 1 piece of unbleached calico. I intend making Christmas bags out of this fabric to replace wrapping paper (idea courtesy Jejune).
  • 1 pinny with teddy bears. Yes, it's very childish and certainly wouldn't be my fabric of choice, but Aunty Marg made it when she was making teddy bears. It's good and big with excellent pockets. I love a good apron, so this stays.
  • 1 white damask table cloth from Nanna's stuff.
  • 3 white cotton cushion covers with an embroided circlet of roses. Also from Nanna's stuff. These go well with one of my doona covers but as I don't have cushions on the bed, I'm going to make these into stash/project bags, either by putting zippers in the top or by sewing a casing and threading a tie. Will depend on what zippers I have lying around.
  • 6 Enid Gilchrist sewing pattern books. These come from Mum. She's been doing a bit of clearing out herself. She used to make our clothes from these pattern books and they are never leaving me.

Out (35)

  • 2 padded coathangers that were a speaker's gift last week. These have gone to Mum, she wants some for her sewing room. The wrapping paper has gone into the recycling bin. It had been used at least once before I received the gift, which is absolutely fine by me, but it wouldn't do for another outing.

    As a guest speaker of MANY years experience I'll let in on the gifts speakers enjoy receiving; not that they expect to receive gifts, but if you're going to give them gifts, make them something that is a pleasure to receive.

    1. Book tokens. Not often given because groups don't like to put an obvious monetary value on their gifts but very, very welcome.
    2. Alcohol. It's mostly the blokes who score the wine, so it's extra good when I receive a bottle. The commemorative, self-bottled port with the screw top, however, is really sweetened paint stripper - it is NOT a suitable gift for someone who has given up their spare time to talk to you at your request. Giving them two bottles does not make it any more palatable. Also, many organisations, particularly government ones, insist on the declaration of all gifts on a gift register and insist on the sharing of such gifts among colleagues. All alcohol I receive goes to the Christmas party each year and very welcome it is, too.
    3. Food stuffs. Chocolates are good - a small box of good quality is better than the large box of cheap Eastern European imports from the local discount store. Homemade jams and preserves are a lovely speaker's gift, too. I once received a small tin of homemade shortbread. The tin was obviously recycled, but such care had been taken with the presentation and the shortbread was so beautifully baked that it remains one of my favourite gifts. I still have the tin. Again, these are things that can be shared with colleagues.
    4. Nice stationery. I recently received some beautiful notecards that were a very welcome gift.

    Most speakers do not need (another) commemorative spoon, tea towel, mug, letter opener or bell unless, of course, they are collectors of these items.
  • 4 key rings. The Tupperware ones have gone to TSS for use in her miniatures collection, the sheep and the fish are going to the SALVOS. The fish came from the Huntington Museum and Library in the USA. A gift from a colleague. The sheep was also a gift from a colleague who found it in an op-shop. As I no longer run the Body Corporate for a block of strata units, I don't have as many keys as I used to. Once was, all of these, and others, were in use for spare flat keys, utility room keys etc.
  • 1 jar key. This is for TSS. She needs one, despite the efficacy of the hammer and nail trick, so I bought a coloured one and she can have the white one. They don't make the white ones anymore.
  • 6 magazines. It's taken a while to read and pass these on. GIFT
  • 1 spectacles case. SALVOS
  • 1 pair pressure stockings last used many years ago when I was hospitalised with a thrombosis. SALVOS
  • 15 books. BOOKCROSSING
  • 4 postcards, greeting cards etc. 2 postcards passed on to a collector, unaddressed envelope retained for reuse and 2 stamps harvested to send a charity which sells them to raise funds for good works, the rest into RECYCLING
  • 1 Tupperware container. Mum needed a container for rolled oats - happy to supply
  • 1 bath cushion. An inflatable cushion for the bath. My bath is storage for towels and a dog grooming station (I had a timber cover made for it). Don't need a cushion for it. SALVOS
  • 1 CD folder. I used this to store circular needles in at one stage but I've come up with a better system now. SALVOS
  • 1 TTWC. Mum promised an old bloke who goes to pulmonary rehab with her that she would bring him a beanie. GIFT

IN 21
OUT 35
nett out 14


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Snow job

TTWC 2007.116-117. The purple one is officially known as "Spring Snow"

Sometimes a freebie is worth what it cost.

Wednesday saw The Shopping Sherpa and I at a free screening of Spring Snow based on a novel by Yukio Mishima at a short Japanese Film Festival. I read Mishima when I was young and desperate to appear literary. The film was 3 hours long. We knitted - beanies and socks. Probably just as well we had some distraction as the 16mm film dragged somewhat and there were two intermissions to change reel (which was quaint).

Sometimes, though, a cheapie is worth much more than you pay. Today we went to 2-for-1 matinee session of Control, the Ian Curtis biopic. Compelling viewing. Made me very glad I didn't marry at 17. The film was based on Curtis' widow's biography and she was one of the producers, so there's a bias up front. Photographer Anton Corbijn directed and the cinematography is brilliant. Each shot is stunning.

Didn't so much want to grab a disapproved of punk wannabe with this one, as yell at some old boyfriends who abused Curits' lyrics to excuse their own adolescent self-indulgences. Time to let go.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I have two, 2-for-1 ticket offers for John Pilger's The War on Democracy at participating Dendy cinemas (mainland states only, I'm afraid) Monday-Friday sessions 27/09-24/10.

Email me if you would like one. The email address is buried over there on the left in my profile.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It is well established that I adore Rambo, the Big Merino at Goulburn (about an hour's drive from here). I even drag unsuspecting visitors miles out of our way to see him; but she's from the home of the Big Dirty Hoe and quite likes the kitschy big stuff, so it was ok.

Now he's on a stamp and I couldn't be prouder. Thanks, Australia Post.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thriftie bitts of meate

Black Lamb and Mother

From the many, many postcards Nanna collected on her trip to Europe and the UK in 1989.

Most are going to a BookCrosser who collects such things but I'm keeping this one.

Avast me hearties and all ye scurvy sock knitters

Not found in time for this year's International Talk Like a Pirate Day but well in time for all you SSSs to whip up a pair for next 19th of September.

Check out Ann Kuo Lukito's Buccaneer's Booty Socks.
And just because there's nothing new in blogland, minutes after writing this post, there's a whole series of pirate links on Whip Up.

The dog has nothing to do with anything except it's cute.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The play's the thing

Sundays are for Spinning. I've been saying that for months and yet the wheel has been gathering more and more cobwebs, and I don't mean laceweight.

Yesterday Spidey had me over for a play date. We drank tea, ate delicious tropical muffins and spun. I finished this bobbin of Bendigo roving in the Damson colourway.

The roving was discarded by Monsqueak several months ago at a similar play date. It went on holidays to South West Rocks and came home much rested, thank you very much for asking.

Someday soon, perhaps next Sunday, this bobbin will be plied against something interesting.

Sundays are also for socks. Almost finished the first of the Stanbridge Socks watching teev with the family last night.

Stanbridge Sock at Leeton Racecourse, Sunday 30 Sept 2007

The yarn is Ornaghi Filati "Luna Park" which was part of a prize won from Yarn. I wasn't all that keen on it in the ball, but it is perfectly charming knitted up. The best thing about it, though, is that Mum hates it so is unlikely to decide they should be hers.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Or like the Rainbow's lovely form ...

This isn't Tam's "gude blue bonnet" but it's lovely all the same.
The This and That Tam (TaTT) because sometimes I need the joy of creation and the glory of colour as well as the solace of knitting.

Right side

I started knitting one round with a different yarn each time but soon tired of that. As this is garter stitch, I switched to slip every second stitch in the knit round to get a more textured effect and to distribute the colours better. Occasionally I threw in a normal knit round which worked quite well.

Reverse side

I like the effect of the "floats" on the reverse. The tam would work either way and could, conceivably, be a reversable garment.

Technically this is not a good piece, but I'm so enamoured of the colours and the texture, I'm forgiving myself the very amateurish yarn changes.

Seven Things Week 6

I usually reconcile to loss quickly but leaving Sydney 4 years ago both precipitated and extended the process in some areas of my life. This week I've managed to let go of some of the tangible reminders of the children I once parented and an old love. It was time. I don't need these things to remember them by; they will always be a part of me.

I have rather over compensated for last week's set back. Sunday was spent dragging boxes and suitcases from wardrobes. I set out with the aim to find all the summer clothes, iron what needed to be ironed and discard the rest. 12 hours later I couldn't sit down and relax, it had become a compulsion. Most, but not all of the ironing was done. By the end of the challenge I would like to be able to get all of my clothes into a (very large) built in wardrobe and a chest of drawers, rather than spread over three wardrobes and three chests of drawers.

Thank you all for your kind words about dealing with Nanna's things. I'm bracing myself for a sort through of the china and linen this week. Unfortunately the china cabinet was lost in the move, so space will need to be found. Eek!

IN (26)

  • 1 bag (7 x 200g) Bendigo 8ply in dark blue - enough for a garment for me! $9 Salvos
  • 1 bag (14 x 50g) Patons Herdwick 8ply in a natural brown - cabled vest for my brother $7 Salvos
  • 1 bag (6 x 60g) Cleckheaton Landscape in brown fleck - TTWCs $2 Salvos
  • Vintage Jet from Nanna's stash (now a TTWC).
  • 2 padded coathangers - gifts for speaking to a community group
  • 3 fine linen hankies $2 Salvos
  • 2 pairs pantyhose $1 Salvos
  • 2 pairs stockings $1 Salvos
  • cotton batting for a special project (20cm)
  • 14 books for BookCrossing
OUT (176)
  • 2 sewing patterns. Testaments to good intentions. GIFT
  • 1 bra - unequal to the task. BINNED
  • 80 items of clothing to women's refuge. I really do think that will be the last of the clothes clear out, but you never know. GIFT
  • 1 bolster cushion - hideously malformed and useless for anything else. Insert BINNED, cover SALVOS
  • 1 bolster cushion - in perfect order but excess to requirement. SALVOS
  • 1 handbag. SALVOS
  • 13 hard plastic coat hangers. RECYCLING
  • 5 pairs of shoes - honestly thought I'd got rid of these ages ago, but there they were in a box in the spare room wardrobe. SALVOS
  • 2 t-shirts. Left over from when the kids were younger. SALVOS
  • 1 pair kid's overalls. Also left over from a previous life. SALVOS
  • 1 man's leather jacket. SALVOS
  • 7 fabric scarves. Love them, never wear them and am only keeping those of real sentimental value. The kids love these for dress-up. GIFT
  • 1 cotton hat. Received for helping out on the London Marathon in 1992. It's useless at keeping the sun off and only kept from sentiment. SALVOS
  • 60 books. BOOKCROSSING.


  • 4 Time Thief Watch Caps
  • 10 stitch markers made from 3 pairs of earrings and jump rings already here.

IN 26
OUT 176


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bling ... and more beanies

It's not so much that I'm bored with knitting the beanies, although sometimes that is true but that's usually fixed by a diverting colour combination or an interesting yarn or a boring meeting, but I am kind of tired of seeing them and there's only so many ways to display them.

I finally found the jump rings (not with the beads as would be imagined). The earrings that have been waiting to be transformed managed to become stitchmarkers this evening.

10 stitchmarkers from 3 pairs of earrings. I know they don't all match the jump rings, but be blowed if I'm buying more jump rings.

TTWC Jr 2007.113

Bottle green recycled Patons Jet and the last of the recycled Patons Family 12 ply in beige with a green fleck. I ran out of the Family a couple of rows short of ideal, but I'm trying to accept near enough on this one.

TTWC 2007.115.

Vintage Patons Jet. The navy was from my Nanna's stash (mostly acrylic I'd bought her for blanket squares and left behind in Leeton thank you very much), the light blue was a 25g ball from my boodle. This beanie is staying to be worn at my nephew's football matches next year. These are his school colours.

TTWC 2007.115

This rescued Anny Blatt is gorgeous to knit with. Smooth and just a little sproingy. TSS did most of the knitting on this one.