Thursday, September 27, 2007


A thank you gift from a client.

Total surprise this afternoon.

Is it wrong that for a minute I revelled in being viewed by the other staff as the kind of woman who receives flowers?

Seven Things Week 4

Publishing early because we'll be away until late Monday.

As I was sorting and packing clothes this week, I pondered the nature of things - why we buy them, why we keep them, why it's hard to get rid of them. Particularly with clothes I buy a dream. A dream of what I will look like, how I present myself and the life I live. Advertising is predicated on selling us not just a product but an image. Giving away the things is like letting go of the dream or at least the possibility.

  • 1 large cone of white woollen yarn $10 Vinnies. There is 1.7+ kilos here. Enough for a garment for me - wheeeee!
  • 1 pair RM Williams Boots $40 Vinnies. Exactly a week after deciding to have mine resoled and heeled I find a pair for less than half the cost of refurbishing the old ones. These are new and have a differently shaped toe. And now I find that it will cost significantly more than $100 to repair my old boots so just as well these found their way to me. Not repairing the old ones - will keep them for gardening.

  • 1 pair tortiseshell knitting needles $2 Vinnies

  • 1 circular needle $2 Vinnies - a 4.5mm x 60cm circ, just what I use for the TTWCs.

  • 3 sets dpns $2 Vinnies. I set of 2mm sock needles and 2 sets of 4.5mm for the TTWC. Now I have more than one set I'll be able to leave a set a work and a set in the car - I seem always to be without these dpns when I need them.

  • 1 green stripey t-shirt $6 from Vinnies

  • 1 black cotton jumper $5 Salvos

  • 1 black cotton lace cardie $6 Vinnies

  • 1 bag polwarth/silk spinning fibre bought from Helen Rippin, the evil temptress.

  • 3 fashion mags from TSS and I'm still working on the last ones she gave me!

  • 1 exhibition catalogue from TSS - bless her.

  • 14 Patons knitting patterns.


  • 58 items of large women's clothing to women's refuge. DONATION.

  • 5 eco-shopping bags that contained the clothes for the refuge.

  • 5 books. BOOKCROSSING

  • 1 pair navy trousers. These finally bit the dust. I've been wearing them for more than 10 years. They are shiny with age and frayed and worn around the hems and along the crease line from ironing. RUBBISH

  • 18 pencils. From a sponsor in a previous life. Got the work budget for the year and pencils for clients is something we can't afford to buy. DONATION

  • 1 pair slippers. Sad to see these go, but they are cracked across the sole and stiff from being wet and dried so many times - we have very heavy frosts and dew and these often protected my feet in the morning hanging out washing etc. BIN

  • 2 videos. The Office and Anne of Green Gables which TSS gave me last week have gone to my brother and his family. I didn't enjoy The Office so much, but renewing my acquaintance with Anne, Matthew, Marilla and Gilbert was a very pleasant three hours. One of my aunts, whose family nickname is Carrots, gave me all of the Anne books as a child. What better gift for a bookish, fantascist, redheaded niece! It was from one of the Anne books that I first thought of knitting as work. The story was set during WWI and the women were debating whether knitting on the Sabbath was permissable if they were knitting for soldiers. I remember being quite shocked at the tender age of 8 or 10, that knitting could be considered work - I thought it was just something women did! I gave all my Anne books to my bookish, fantascist, redheaded niece a few years ago. GIFTS

  • 2 knitting magazines. GIFTS

  • 2 Winnie the Pooh Tupperware bowls. As the child I had these for turns 13 in a couple of weeks, it's time to let them go. GIFT


IN 29
Out 94

nett out 65

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Time Thief Watch Caps 2007.101-104

It's a sad state of affairs when the WIPs one reported a fortnight ago are the same today.

The Khaki Cables Cardie is exactly as it was two weeks ago. Perhaps next week.

The Short Circuit Scarf has progessed but only a very little bit. Mum and I are off to Leeton this long weekend for the Stanbridge Reunion. Stanbridge is a small district outside Leeton and is where my mother was born and grew up. I was going to take some special yarn and a lovely pattern and knit something pretty for me but this scarf is screaming to be finished and I'm pretty sure Nanna will like it.

The socks. Mum has claimed these. She decided that they would suit her very well, despite previously stating that she didn't want colourful socks, and that they were obviously far too small for me anyway. OK, fine, she can have them. I'd finished one sock and had got to the foot of the second when I worked out that I'd measured the foot from the back of the heel instead of the gusset and had made them about an inch too short.

It took me nearly a week to work this out. Pissed off with myself and disappointed, Spidey took pity and unpicked the toe at SnB last night. They are not going to be finished for Mum to wear away this weekend as planned but I'll take them and hopefully finish them.

TTWCs continue apace. The acquistion of a new 4.5mm x 60cm circ is a boon (I have 6 now) and I've pressed into service some thicker needles to deal with the chunkier yarn that was at repose in the bottom of the beanie boodle. With The Shopping Sherpa helping out, several beanies will be out there soon.

So what else to take away for the weekend? I'm leaning towards Barb Coddington's Clafoutis socks for a bit of instant gratification and maybe another ball of sock yarn just in case.

Speaking of Socks, if you're into it, you can still join the Southern Summer of Socks. I don't KAL, there's enough deadline pressure in my life, but it does look like fun.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Something For Kate OR When Flowers meet Fibre

I promised Kate to take her on a tour of Floriade this year, so Spidey and I visited on Sunday to check out the Alice Springs Beanie Exhibition with a view to a Picknit, and also to meet up with Helen Rippin - the dye-diva of Waratah Fibres (sadly, no website or blog).

For foreign readers, Floriade is Canberra's annual spring festival. Bulbs en masse together with garden displays and other activities. This year's theme is Aussie Myths and Icons. There was a Yowie, Kate, but no Sasquatch ;). I didn't photograph many of the myths and icons, mostly because the interpretative signage was pretty bad and we couldn't decipher some of the displays.


Myths and Icons

Possibly the Sydney Opera House made from bamboo?

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (also home of Australian Rules Football - the posts are the Aussie Rules goal posts)

Dunny complete with red back spider



Shark Bite Hat

Tea Party Hat

Evil women bearing fibre (Helen Rippin on left, Spidey on right)

Large bag of dye-diva fibre. I only bought 50g - promise.

Daisy display which depicts sheep

Actual sheep (Spidey has dibs on this one)

A TTWC makes a pilgrimage

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Seven Things Week Three


  • 1 handknitted vest by and from the Happy Spider - this is to be unravelled for TTWCs. It breaks my heart to do it.

  • 1 set kitchen cannisters. I had a little falling down at the charity stall at Fyshwick markets last Sunday. These were $1.00 the lot and so very cute.

  • 4 books : 1. No Great Mischief by Alistair Macleod which I've been wanting to read for a while 2. A Mills and Boon, The Librarian's Secret Wish, which Spidey spotted and which had to come home. 3. Trick or Treat by Kerry Greenwood - the fourth Corinna Chapman book. I don't keep many novels anymore. Usually they are read and BookCrossed. The Corinna Chapman series is one of them. I pay full-price for these books (a very good indication that I love them) and they are only loaned to people I trust to return them quickly and in good order. 4 The Lighthouse by PD James. I am devoted to PD James. I can justify this purchase (op-shop of course) because not only will I read it, but Jejune is a fan, too - we often swap books.

  • 3 pieces vintage fabric spotted by Spidey - damn that woman's good, maybe too good! They went immediately to TSS, though.

  • 1 lot of white roving, a gift from the lovely Sarah. It's one of Mandie's.

  • 1 small bag of yarn from the markets charity stall. I love the vintage Patons Azalea/Cr***et Twist. I have a plan for all the bits and pieces of it that lurk in the boodle.

  • Pink yarn for socks for Mum. It matches exactly the pink in the socks I'm currently knitting her. I should get a pair of plain pink, then a mix and match pair out of the remnats of the two yarns.

  • 6 fashion mags from TSS. Is it fair that one of these is one I gave her ages ago?

  • 1 knitting bag - beautifully fashioned by TSS. Now I have a nested set.

  • 1 x 5k rice bag to become a project bag (see Shake-it-all-about, below). Also from TSS.

  • 2 videos - Series 1 of The Office and Anne of Green Gables. From TSS, drat her. These will be watched and quickly disposed of. Put your hand up by email or in the comments if you want these after me.

  • 46 knitting patterns (mostly Patons) - big thank you to Tink and TSS for their contributions

  • 1 bag roving - yes we are a little creative with the maths on this one.

  • 1 bag yarn - more creative maths.

  • 10 books through BookCrossing. These were some of the 31 donated in Week 1. BOOKCROSSING

  • 2 kid's magzines also in that box of books. To nephew. GIFT

  • 4 kid's puzzle books from the same donation. My nephew loves puzzles and not many of these have been done already. GIFT

  • 1 teeny little book from that same donation. It's going to the local library for a special display. GIFT

  • 1 embroidery primer. GIFT

  • 2 felt craft kits - off to Mum to keep the grandkids occupied during the holidays. GIFT

  • 8 fashion magazines. GIFT

  • 4 balls Patonyle. GIFT

  • 2 cr***et books. See! I have tried to overcome my prejudice - I failed. GIFT

  • 1 summer hat. I love straw hats but this one is nasty and scratchy. Yeah, I know I could sew lining in it but I just don't need it. SALVOS

  • 3 coffee tins. SALVOS

  • 2 plastic coffee measures. RECYCLING

  • 1 plastic water jug which came with an iron. RECYCLING

  • 1 back pack. Too big as a day pack, too small for a weekend away. SALVOS

  • 3 cosmetics purses. SALVOS

  • 4 little candles. SALVOS

  • 4 packets fragrance sticks. SALVOS

  • 1 fragrance stick burner. SALVOS

  • 1 metal biscuit tin. SALVOS

  • 2 old keys. RECYCLING

  • 1 leather purse. MUM

  • 5 pieces vintage fabric. TSS

  • 1 white toothbrush. TSS

  • 1 bottle Baileys Irish Cream. I know this is a consumable, but I can't drink it so to keep it is to hoard and getting rid of hoarded, useless items is the name of this particular game, so I'm counting it out. GIFT

  • 1 new satin nightie. GIFT

  • 1 pencil case. GIFT

  • 1 pair summer cut-offs. Faded, zip broken, mis-shapen. RUBBISH

  • 1 tube hair gel. This has been in the bathroom for years. The kids are having a "makeover" day at Nanna's over the holidays. This is part of my contribution to their fun.

  • 1 lip gloss. I'm over 40 - what do I want with pale pink lip gloss? More for the kid's makeover.

  • 4 broken hair combs - RECYCLING.

  • 1 old dog brush. Broken and useless. RUBBISH.

  • 1 telephone holder. Purple satin with shiny things all over. This was a gift from an old boss who hadn't a clue what I liked. We never got on. Off to one of the nieces. GIFT

  • 1 garlic slicer. A gift from someone who knows I like kitchen gadgets, but this is a silly drawer clutterer. SALVOS

  • 1 mobile phone handbook for a phone recycled last week. RECYCLING


  • 3 TTWC. To be fair, TSS helped. She is currently without a portable project so she knitted on a couple of these during our mini pub crawl on Monday and at the movies (free at the National Library) on Thursday.

  • 5 x 5k rice bags transformed into knitting project bags.

These are great for carrying small projects and only once has it caused any problem in public. The cashier at Woollies tried to charge me for the "rice" I was carrying through the checkout. She hadn't seen me knitting a TTWC in the queue. I've been using these as small project bags for a year or so and they can be used just as soon as you've emptied the rice out of them. The bags are roughly and cheaply made, though, and the fabric edges usually raw, so I overlock the edges before washing the bags and then using them. Fewer nasty cotton threads tangling in your latest sock that way.

I have several bags that are white and two that are yellow. The white ones are for TTWCs and the yellow ones are for socks which makes packing the knitting bag so much easier on busy mornings.

The zippered bags also make great laundry bags for lingerie and other delicates. That was a tip from the Happy Spider.

IN 70
OUT 78

nett out: 8

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bad and buggered blogger

A busy week Chez Taph - or rather not Chez Taph - haven't had a night home in over a week.

Not home = no blog but it doesn't mean no knitting. Neither does it mean no shopping, *sigh*. There's been a rather big falling down in the no shopping department.

The Lifeline Bookfair in Canberra is, reportedly, the biggest in Australia. I have to go for work. I line up an hour or so before the doors open with all other diehards, then storm the barricades. I worked on the latest sock in the queue (forgot to take a photo) spent three hours combing the tables for items for our collection and then checking with staff back at the library for holdings. In the course of this I have to pass the craft sections and it would be just wrong not to look. Result, 32 Patons patterns and a couple stitch pattern dictionaries into to the collection. Oh, and I made time to have a cuppa with TSS. We really should have thought harder about the likely pitfalls of a Seven Things Spring Challenge when Spring in Canberra means a Lifeline Bookfair and the school fete/garage sale season.

Add this to the 4 Tinkingbell sent, the 4 TSS found and the 6 I'd bought the day before, we have 46 patterns in this week.

After the Bookfair I popped in to the Salvos Store at Mitchell. Nothing to be had (much to my relief) but as I was leaving I heard behind me - "Just hold that bag open for all that spinning wool". It was mine within seconds, as was the bag of knitting yarn they were about to throw in the skip because it was so hopelessly tangled.

I haven't weighed it yet, but there is a substantial amount of dyed, ready to spin roving. Pretty good for $5.

An hour's work last night turned most of this tangled mess of yarn into 12 balls of Anny Blatt pure wool (roughly 12 ply), 7 balls and part balls of Patons Totem, and some part balls of Patons Bluebell. There is also a large tangle of wool still to be worked on. It's going to make wonderful TTWCs and wristwarmers.

Sometimes I'm just the panty liner of my wallet's incontinence.

Oh, and here is the one hundreth Time Thief Watch Cap for the year. It's knitted from natural greasy wool produced by the Little Bo Peep company of Geelong.

TTWC 2007.100

Speaking of Geelong - Go the Cats! (but if you ever tell Dad I said that, I will have to kill you).

Monday, September 17, 2007

On the job

So Margie included the results of a career quiz in her blog. It's from Career Cruising , (username: nycareers, password: landmark) .

I guess it's good the the three things I'm trained in are in the top ten, as are several other jobs I've done. Not listed here, though, are full-time stash wrangler or professional bargain hunter. Disappointing. ;)

1. Professor
2. Anthropologist
3. ESL Teacher
4. Foreign Language Instructor
5. Archivist
6. Economic Development Officer
7. Historian
8. Librarian
9. Editor
10. Dental Assistant
11. Computer Trainer
12. Medical Secretary
13. Foreign Service Officer
14. Funeral Director
15. Curator
16. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
17. Nail Technician
18. Communications Specialist
19. Corporate Trainer
20. Tour Guide
21. Library Technician
22. Customer Service Representative
23. Print Journalist
24. Writer
25. Picture Framer
26. Market Research Analyst
27. Furniture Finisher
28. Sport Psychology Consultant
29. Human Resources Specialist
30. Health Records Professional
31. Critic
32. Dispatcher
33. Economist
34. Translator
35. Plumber
36. Technical Writer
37. Public Relations Specialist
38. Political Aide
39. Activist
40. Public Policy Analyst

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Seven Things Week 2


  • 3 DVDs. The original Hairspray, written and directed by John Waters with Ricki Lake, Divine and Deborah Harry. Now I can retire the dubbed video an ex did for me (complete with hand-drawn and coloured cover). Cry Baby directed by John Waters and starring Johnny Depp and Finding Neverland also with Mr Depp. 3 movies within the Collection Development Policy (ie, anything I have on video that has survived the regular VHS purges and ANYTHING featuring Mr Depp) for $24.96.


  • 1 sewing pattern to TSS. GIFT
  • 1 tortishell headband. For a short while in the 80s I was a Laura Ashley/Sloane Ranger wannabe. This was just after the proto-goth phase. Anyway, a love of headbands is a left over from the Laura/Sloane phase. Now I prefer them as thin as possible and while this is thin and tortishell patterned (my preferred colouring), it's too stretchy and doesn't do the business on thick hair. All intact hair accessories have gone to my twin 12 year old nieces. GIFT
  • 1 blue grippy comb thing. Blue? What was I thinking? And it's too small to contain my mop. GIFT
  • 1 metal bar clip. Hideous and broken. RUBBISH
  • 1 mauve hair bobble. Dunno where it came from, but it's been kicking around the hair maintenance drawer in the bathroom forever. GIFT
  • 6 pairs of litte decorative hair grips. No amount of work ever made me look like Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors, despite the blondeness of my crowning glory at the time (she had a really great "do" in that movie and used all these little hair clips). Note that I am counting the sets, not the actual items here. That should calm down a certain person about my creative mathematics. GIFT
  • 1 yellow hair clip with blue flower. Hideous and chipped. RUBBISH
  • 1 silver hair clip with very cute diamante daisy (see ref to Gwyneth Paltrow). GIFT
  • 1 packet bobby pins purchased in a rush to tame my hair one day and in the wrong colour. My strawberry blonde niece loves these. Please note this is counted as 1, not each and every bobby pin. GIFT
  • 30 or so knitting patterns. Friday night was spent watching first the AFL final - what a marathon. I busied myself going through a large stack of photocopied or downloaded patterns. The earliest download was 1996! They all went either to the recycling bin or for reuse in the printer. I kept about 5 patterns out of a 2" high stack .


IN: 3
OUT: 44


It's a busy day and I won't be home until late - look forward to seeing everyone else's posts late tonight or early tomorrow.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

TTWC 2007.99

This yarn was from the other child's sized jumper bought at Laurieton St VdeP (see yesterday's post). It's Patons Family 12 ply. Five beanies came from this jumper.

How do I know what the yarns are when it comes from a completed hand-knit? It's a gift.

I come from a family of knitters. Mum and my maternal grandmother knitted so I've seen a lot of ball bands. I also worked in David Jones' while I was at high school and college. Although I mostly worked in the Manchester department, it was next to the Haberdashery department and that's where the yarn was. I fondled a LOT of yarn. It also explains the mega fabric remnant stash I once had.

Also, I've been buying vintage, and just plain old, wool from op-shops for years.

Having bought a LOT of wool, both new and used, I've got a yarn memory that stretches back about at least 50 years.

Friday, September 14, 2007

And the beanie goes on

TTWC 2007.97-98

All this bottle green wool was recycled from a jumper found at St VdeP in Laurieton (near Port Macquarie). It's old Paton's Jet and knits up beautifully.

We had to go to Laurieton to get Mum's oxygen bottles filled. I'd already made a list of all op-shops in the district from the telephone directory, so we knew there were at least two in Laurieton. At Vinnies we struck pay-dirt. Here was where all the hand-knits on the mid-north coast were hiding. They certainly weren't in South West Rocks or Kempsey, because we'd checked (and bought the two that were to be had).

I can't remember now but we got something like 5 jumpers in Laurieton. Two of them were kid's sized in 12 ply. Neither of them had been worn, or if they had, they hadn't been washed. They were lovely and one had a "Knitted with Love by Nana" tag sewn in. When I unpicked them it was obvious they'd been knitted by the same woman.

I don't usually buy kid's jumpers to unravel. Often they are bought and used as they were intended but these were 12 ply and in Laurieton where no kid would ever need a jumper that thick. Also, I'd knitted all the 12 ply I'd brought with me and was desperate for some TTWC action.

These unpicked and unravelled easily and the crinkle fell out immediately the skeins hit the water. So far I've knitted four hats from this bottle green and there are three more on the needles and one less reusable item into landfill. I like to think that the original knitter would approve.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


The realisation that I have become a sad little pattern-spotter has caused very little worry; which is a worry in itself.

Apologies that the Google doc is not available for viewing. If you would like to see it I am happy to email you a copy of the spreadsheet.

So here we have the pattern-spotter's guide to vintage Australian Patons pattern leaflets.

Leaflets of the late 1930s-1940s were black and white and looked a lot like this. Dimensions approx. 19cm x 24.5cm

In the 1950s and 60s, we got colour covers. Dimensons approx. 18cm x 23.5 cm

By the late 1960s and into the early 1970s when this first series of patterns numbered up to 1000 finished, they had color covers and measured 18 cm x 28 cm

The reprint series seem always to have had coloured covers, but not full colour. Someone who know about printing will probably tell me what process this was. They are identified by the "R" prefixing the number, and by their size. These are tidges at 13.5 cm x 21cm.

The craft series, identified by the "C" prefixing the pattern number are also small, initially. 13.5 cm x 21cm at first, they change dimension at the same time as the main pattern run does. So in the late 60s that are 18cm x 23.5 cm.

I have not included the Classics series. They begin in the late 1960s and are still published. Most of the more recent ones are reprints of earlier publications. The numbering and the patterns remain the same but the photography and leaflet size change.

The pattern-spotter's natural habitat is the op-shop and garage sale. She can be identified by the hand-knitted cardie, sensible shoes and woolly hat. She has been known to snoop in the craft cupboards of elderly relatives, capacious knitting bag gaping open at her side. She carries a notebook containing details of her pattern sightings and seeks out others of her kind. They congregate in coffee shops and bars where they share stories of their adventures and knit together. The more technologically advanced of them create blogs and websites to document their obsession collection.

They are mostly harmless and to be deeply pitied.