Saturday, December 27, 2008

Seven Things Week 69

It's amnesty week here at Taph Towers.

I'm tired, I'm over it and it's Christmas week. And there may have been an accident involving Lincraft and bargain Australian Country Spinners $5 yarn packs.

Seven Things will return in the New Year.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Control or How I Plan to Do More in the Time Available Without Actually Cloning

A little while ago I spreadsheeted (not really a word) the birthday knitting for next year to try and keep me focussed (stop laughing). Then I realised that all my craftiness needs to be time-managed so to try and shoehorn a bit more in, I have added sewing projects as well.


INTELLECTUAL ARRANGEMENT


My column headings are
  • :date due:
  • :craft type:
  • :portability: (because time at home and awake and able to concentrate on craft = about an hour a day but I can usually squeeze another hour or two in by having portable projects with me at all times)
  • :recipient:
  • :item:
  • :materials (what to use and if I had to acquire anything else):
  • :date to be given:
  • :notes: (I find it useful to record if I need to blog the project and on which blog - helps me remember to take photos etc)

PHYSICAL ARRANGEMENT - KNITTING


In the madness of the days before Christmas I needed to feel in control of something so I invested 3 hours uploading (newly acquired) boodle to Ravelry, searching for and queuing patterns, annotating both the queue and the stash record with the pattern info and printing out the patterns. Another few hours here and there were invested in gathering together yarn, pattern, needles and notions and popping them all into project bags (this is where having waaaaay too many needles etc. comes in really handy). I attached a tag to each project bag with a sample of yarn. The tag lists pattern information, due date etc. and contents of bag. Bags were then divided into portable and home projects with some of the portables stashed in a box in the boot of my car. On the sewing list is extra project bags!

PHYSICAL ARRANGEMENT - SEWING.


Fabric and notions stored with pattern (or at least the scrap of paper with my idea sketched on) and either put in a bag with a label, or pinned to the garment with a label with details of date due, notions and work needed. If I haven't finished something, or it's something I can do in stages, I leave a note of where I'm up to. Trust me, you can sew on several buttons between putting dinner on and turing the chops.

I'll let you know how it all works, but at least I feel organised and potentially super-productive.

Do you have a favourite craft organisation or time-management tip?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Seven Things Week 68

IN (16)
1 pr socks - gift
1 set stitchmarkers - gift
2 lots of smellies - gifts
1 Tupperware container - Salvos
2 sets knitting needles - Vinnies/Salvos
3 vintage knitting patterns - Aussie Junk
1 set car mats - gift
4 balls wool - Vinnies
1 ball winder - Aussie Junk
2 biscuit cutters - retail

OUT (33)
1 set car mats - bin
2 plastic containers - bin
7 assorted bottles & jars - recycling
2 posters - recycling
1 pr sunglasses - bin
9 swimwear pieces - gifts & donations
4 prs shorts
5 singlet tops
1 blouse

SIAA (0)
not a solitary thing finished but I'm still on track with next year's birthday gifts.

TOTALS
IN 16
OUT 33
NETT OUT 17
SIAA 0

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New kid on the blog

My Old Flame has started his own blog called The Old Flame and is contributing to I Op Therefore I am ACT.

Warning - may contain explicit bloke content.

And for those of you who read the Christmas present post, he assures me that it's BUYING socks that's the no-no - "hand knitted socks are completely different" (which is a relief for next year).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Funny ha-ha or funny in my head?

I passed a couple of Fitness First employees handing out membership flyers etc. yesterday.

The bloke turned to his female companion and whined "I hope we sit down soon, my legs are sore."

I was tempted to demand he drop and give me five for such a complaint (why yes, I have done boot camp).

Funny ha-ha or just funny in my head.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Seven Things Week 67

IN (10)
1 set glasses (Vinnies & Salvos yielded a set of the tasting glasses from the Murrumbatemen Moveable Feast to add to our collection)
1 pr Halex knitting needles ($2 Vinnies)
1 hand winding mobile 'phone charger ($5 garage sale)
2 shirts - fabric and sewing a gift from Mum, buttons and finishing my own
1 shirt - Salvos
2 knitting magazines
2 Tupperware containers

OUT (36)
1 polar fleece jacket - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 set wine charms (another set) - GIFTS & DONATIONS
12 buttons (on two shirts) - SIAA
1 hand towel - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 soap - GIFTS & DONATIONS
20 clamps - GIFTS & DONATIONS

SIAA (3)
1 camera cosy
1 beret
1 scarf

TOTALS
IN 10
OUT 36
NETT OUT 26

SIAA 3

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Camera Cosy

The digital camera accompanies me most days - you just never know when you'll need to chronicle the day with an image. Although there is a good case that came with the camera, it's too bulky in the handbag. Most of the time the camera gets chucked in unprotected.

Now I have this. It's based on the 'phone sock made in February and the method of working it out was really scientific. I compared the camera to the phone. The camera is roughly one third larger than the phone. For the phone sock, I used a 5ply wool on 3.75mm needles over 32 stitches. 1/3 of 32 is almost 11. 32 + 11 is 43, but need multiples of for for double rib, so the magic cast on number was 44. I grabbed some 5ply crepe (vintage Patons Treasure - 60% wool, 40% nylon) and knitted in double rib for 46 rows (measuring against the camera as I went) and magicked a three-needle cast off.

The result was a not brilliant. The yarn was a little thinner than that used in the phone sock so tension was a bit loose, the sock was both a bit wide and a bit long. The camera did not fit snugly.
As it took less than 2 hours to knit, I cast on another one on 3.25mm needles over 40 stitches and 40 rows and 2 hours later I'm much happier with the result.

For the record, the camera - an Olympus something or other, is 10cm long x 6cm wide x 2.8cm deep. The sock is 11.5 cm long and 4.5cm wide.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Seven Things Week 66

Looking around this week there are really only two big lots of clutter in the house left to attend to. Books and knitting stuff.

Books will be interesting. I am still going through Dad's library, so I suspect that I'll be BookCrossing my own collection and ingesting his at the same time. The aim is for no nett gain and perhaps a little nett loss with that one.

The uncluttering sites and books are not at all helpful here. They are invariably written by heartless wretches and nowhere can I see discussion about how significant objects actually are. No, they are not people. It's my Dad's book, not my Dad. But Dad valued these objects and some of them have a great deal of significance for a lot of reasons. One thing I have found during 66 weeks of 7-things is that it is immensely important to acknowledge the significance of things in one's life and that you must be truly ready to let it go or regret will gnaw away at you.

So I do what I've done with 7-things. I do the easy stuff first.

Ephemera, journals and duplicates all go first. I find loving homes wherever possible, knowing that the material will be respected. At last resort is the Lifeline box.

Next I tackle the subjects that have little meaning for me or other members of the family. Again, donation to people who do see meaning and value in the topic is the preferred method of disposal. I am stymied sometimes by members of the family who are emotionally unable to accept even the books that they want. At the moment I'm indulging their feelings but Mum's patience is wearing thin and she wants the room for other things. It's tempting to box and wrap them and put them under the Christmas tree.

Yarn is a bit difficult. The Old Flame and I were discussing our respective stashes (my knitting/spinning stuff and his skiing stuff) recently and agreed that mine's a little different because I'm stashing snow as well as skis. It's summer now, time for a thaw. Perhaps when the weather gets a little warmer.

IN (10)
1 mp3 player -$10 for a new 2g mp3 player
1 set videos - gift
1 top - $5 Salvos
1 skirt - $12.50 Vinnies (a leetle pricey, but it's lovely and will be my birthday outfit for this year)
1 sofa - gift
2 prs socks - new
2 polar fleece jackets - they were Dad's but they are good quality and they fit so I'm hanging on to them.
1 vase - Secret Santa gift

OUT (77)
1 butter dish - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 bag - GIFTS & DONATIONS
11 books - GIFTS & DONATIONS
5 bags beading bits - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 bag yarn - GIFTS & DONATIONS
8 sets knitting needles - GIFTS & DONATIONS
3 plastic containers - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 knitting patterns - gifts & donations - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 bathroom accessories - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 bag hair accessories - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 soft toy - GIFTS & DONATIONS
5 pieces of fabric - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 drink bottle - RECYCLING
7 storage jars - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 glass - GIFTS & DONATIONS
4 prs trousers - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 skirt - GIFTS & DONATIONS
3 doylies - GIFTS & DONATIONS
3 tops - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 tallboy - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 mirror set - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 sofa - GIFTS & DONATIONS
4 clothes hangers - RECYCLING
2 picture frames - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pr boots - BIN
4 sets spectacles - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pr socks - BIN
1 set wine charms - GIFTS & DONATIONS

SIAA (2)
1 neck warmer
1 proto-type camera cosy

TOTALS
in 10
out 77
nett out 67
SIAA 2

Friday, December 05, 2008

Industrial action

I'm as addicted to wool and yarn as I used to be to nicotine.

The two things are not unrelated. Knitting helped me give up smoking. Certainly one is much healthier than the other and the social benefits of, say, the charity hats, far greater than chucking cigarette butts on the ground. Economically, I'm sure cigarette sales exceed yarn sales but wouldn't it be fabulous if the opposite were true?

It is then, surely, reasonable to have the odd break during the day to feed my addiction in the same way the smokers in the workplace take time out for a smoke.

I wonder if I can get it into our next workplace agreement?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Prepared

Long ago I decided that knitting Christmas gifts was not going to happen.

1. Bad time of year for anything except washcloths (although I did that for the volunteers at work a few years ago)
2. Too many to knit for with a single deadline.
3. Christmas gifts are, to me, generally less personal than birthday gifts.

So I go the commercial route for Christmas and the hand-made for birthdays.

In an idle moment* last week I compiled a list of who would be getting knitted love next year for their birthdays, when their birthdays were, an idea of what I thought I'd make them and what was in stash to support it. Eeeep! January-April there are 8 birthdays with 13 knitted pieces planned. May-Dec, 3 birthdays with 5 knitted pieces planned. Quick revision of number of pieces reduced the Jan-April figure to 11 knitted pieces, but half the birthdays and 6 knitted pieces fall within 8 days in April!. Knitting is now timetabled until then end of July. There is not much room for slippage until the 27th of April (and I'm behind this week already) and there's at least 3 other projects due by the end of January.

In play, also, are developing pattern ideas, two exhibition pieces, incidental gifts, probable special requests and/or commissions, market stall items, baby stuff, projects for me or for fun and charity creations.

Lucky I enjoy knitting, huh?


* ok, I was in a meeting and in need of diversion. If I can't knit, I can at least think about knitting

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

More scarves

Playing a little bit of catch up on the FOs. These scarves were finished months ago, but the photography never happened.

Scrap-busting side-to-side scarves for the gift basket - these will probably go to the nieces for their birthday in February.

Blue Monday - variety of yarns, some held in multiple strands over 120 stitches on 8mm needles with a self fringe.


Ruby Tuesday - variety of yarns, some held double or quadruple over 130 stitches on 8mm needles with a self fringe.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

This scarf is a variation on the Prismatic Scarf by Huan-Hua Chye (Rav link). I managed to bugger up the pattern but loved the reverse side so much I just kept going. Maybe one day I'll do it again properly, but probably not. I used 8mm needles over 24 stitches and a full 300g of yarn.
One of the most gorgeous features of the pattern is the knitted on i-cord edge - so neat.

The yarn is Moda Vera Mandorla Printed (Rav link) - a wool/ack blend that is divinely squooshy and great to knit. Can't remember how I came by it, but I'm so glad I kept it.


It tones nicely with my blue beret from last winter and should be a bit of a boost next year when the late winter "I'm so sick of my black overcoat" blues set in.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Frugal and/or Free - What's sauce for the goose




DATE: 19 November 2009
SOURCE: Salvos, Tuggeranong
OBJECT: Corningware Saucepan with liquid measurements on the inside
INVESTMENT: $10
NOTES: I had to be talked into this one. I know it's gorgeous, in mint condition and suitable for both normal people and southpaws, but its original price was $20. I would not have paid that. As it was, all bric-a-brac was half price and the Voice of Frugal Reason insisted I bring it home. I love it.


Also on I Op Therefore I Am - ACT.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Seven Things Week 65

IN (12)
1 wallet (brand new $9 Vinnies)
1 laundry trolley ($10 garage sale)
3 sewing patterns ($1 Aussie Junk)
1 glass ($1 Aussie Junk)
1 tupperware container ($1 Aussie Junk)
1 sewing pattern (50c Vinnies)
1 knitting pattern (50c Vinnies)
1 knitting magazine (subscription)
1 spinning magazine (gift)
1 bag spinning fibre (EGMTK's fibre club)

OUT (39)
1 wallet - gifts & donations
1 laundry trolley - gifts & donations
12 balls wool - gifts & donations
1 pr tweezers -bin
2 towels (for Mum to make into a bathrobe for my birthday)
9 buttons (5 for my bathrobe; 4 for last week's sarongs -forgot about them until this week)
2 sets knitting needles - gifts & donations
1 laundry basket - gifts & donations
2 books - BOOKCROSSING
8 clothes hangers - gifts & donations

SIAA (2)
2 blanket squares

TOTALS
IN 12
OUT 39
NETT OUT 27
SIAA 2

Friday, November 28, 2008

Frugal and/or Free - Sit On It




Date: Sunday 15 November
Place: Second-hand Sunday participant, Kaleen
Objects: Concrete surrounds and two vintage kitchen chairs.
Investment: $0
Notes: For the thrifty gardener, this concrete edging is fantastic. I was given a whole heap of it a couple of years ago which edged my driveway. Makes mowing easier, too. Had to bring this home when I saw it - Dad would be proud. The chairs are for my front porch and may not last long, but they were free and sometimes I just have to have something for the sake of it.


Also on I Op Therefore I Am - ACT.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Frugal and/or Free - White wash



Date: Saturday 22 November
Place: Garage sale, Ngunnawal
Object: Lightly used laundry trolley
Investment: $10
Notes: Replaces the expensive and very short-lived version from Howard's Storage World bought a few years back and which only lasted a couple of months. The problem - welded supports which kept breaking. This one has the metal supports through the frame and should last MUCH longer.

Also on I Op Therefore I Am - ACT.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Frugal and/or Free - Second Hand Sunday 20 November

After an early night and a leisurely breakfast, we hit the streets of Gungahlin for Second-Hand Sunday. We are really looking for a decent two-seater sofa, but we set out with open minds and hope in our hearts.

We score within the first hour - a 4 burner BBQ with gas bottle. I stand guard while the Old Flame returns home for the trailer. The owner is downsizing and is pleased to get rid of her almost new bbq. We've been discussing the need for a BBQ for months and have even spent time in retail outlets checking them out. This will do for now and suits the budget very well indeed.

We also picked up a crock for vinegar making (still looking for a vinegar mother - anyone?), a box of books, a Microsoft ergonomic keyboard, some concrete garden edging and two 50s dining chairs.

We left this fella behind. Poor Humpty looked lonely on this hideous couch. It's not obvious, but his eyes and belt buckle are gorgeous paua shells and he nearly came home for those alone.



Date: Sunday 15 November
Place: Second-hand Sunday participant, Amaroo
Object: Nearly new 4-burner BBQ.
Investment: $5
Notes: The BBQ was free but the Old Flame had to buy a lid for it, so Aussie Junk got $5. The BBQ came with the gas bottle (not pictured). We've had 2 meals off it and there's still gas in the bottle. We suspect it had been used no more than 3 times before we got it considering it's general state of cleanliness.



Also on I Op Therefore I Am - ACT.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Frugal and/or Free - Release the Moths

Date: Saturday 22 November
Place: St Vincent de Paul op-shop, Gungahlin
Object: Brand new Oroton wallet (kanagroo leather, buttery soft)
Investment: $9
Notes: Replaces the $3 op-shop wallet which I've had exactly a year

Monday, November 24, 2008

Stylin' yarn

Interesting article in the November 2008 Country Style (the magazine formerly known as Australian Country Style) on Katherine Wood and Burrawool .

I haven't tried Burrawool, but KMS has and she loves it . I'm trying to curb my desire for this yarn but it fits so well with the Boodle Development Policy (local, indie, chemical free, only comes in natural white, black or grey etc...) that it's hard. If we just happen to be driving through Robertson at any time, it will mean I was meant to have some of this fibre.

Country Style is available at the Dickson , Tuggeranong and Woden branches of the ACT Public Libraries. And you can still buy it in the shops if you're so inclined.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Seven Things Week 64

IN (60)
4 Tupperware containers (garage sales - total spend $3)
1 cotton blanket (gift TSS)
1 saucepan ($10 at Salvos half price sale)
46 balls yarn - Patons Jet at $3 a ball and some Bendigo 8ply from Vinnies. All of this is destined for Mum's charity knitting, but it will live here for a while first, so I thought it best to count it in.
2 chairs (free Second-hand Sunday)
1 CD (gift TSS)
1 extendable arm ($2 fete)
1 hat for the races ($10 Vinnies)
1 lipstick (gift TSS)
2 prs reading specs (new - I can see, I can see!)

OUT (5)
4 placemats - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 table runner - GIFTS & DONATIONS

SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT (5)
1 TTWC
1 scarf
2 sarongs (from the sheet TSS gave me last week)



TOTALS
IN 60
OUT 5
NETT OUT -55

SIAA 4

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Seven Things Week 63

IN (80)
1 bra - gift from Mum
57 balls of yarn - gift for charity stash via TSS
2 jumpers for unravelling - gift for charity stash via TSS
2 circular knitting needles - came with the charity yarn
1 suitcase - it's what the yarn came in
1 sheet - gift from TSS
1 bag spinning fibre - EGMTK fibre club
15 balls yarn from a Ravelry destash, but it matches yarn in boodle and now I'll be able to make four garments (sometime) instead of stashing lovely yarn indefinitely.

OUT (30)
4 bras - BIN/GIFTS & DONATIONS
11 knitting patterns - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 jumper - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 tops - GIFTS & DONATIONS
3 cardboard boxes - RECYCLING (yes, I have a hoard of cardboard boxes which I keep thinking I'll use but which I never do - these were too big to be useful so I dropped them off to the local paper recyclers, there are more to come once the (mostly) documents that have been dumped in them are decanted and filed.)
6 hair dyes - BIN (don't really want out of date chemicals near my head - bought on sale more than 3 years ago and not a single one ever used)
3 big Australia Post boxes- GIFTS & DONATIONS

SIAA (1)
1 beanie


TOTALS
IN 80
OUT 30
Nett OUT -50

SIAA 1

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Maintain the Rage!

No fancy pants Robbie Burns titles today - no time to be waylaid by his poetry.
TSS has blogged about our little trip to OPH for The Dismissal tour.
The Dismissal was 33 years ago yesterday and remains an enduring memory of my childhood. I was in 4th class at a Canberra public primary school and remember the feeling of anticipation, dread, grief and anger that emanated from teachers and other adults. It was a confusing and exciting day for a 9 year old.
Because TSS needs more of an understanding of Australian history, because I'm a history and politics junkie, and because the Old Flame is a good sport, we arrived at OPH and paid the family rate of $5 entry between us (ha!) instead of $2 each.

We got to re-enact the journey of the day throughout Old Parliament House. The House of Reps, the Senate, the Cabinet Room, the Prime Minister's Office, the Press Gallery etc.
The Old Flame as Sir John Kerr

I was seriously thrilled to actually to be in those places, particularly the House of Representatives - the people's house.

But I was more thrilled to do this -

Knitting the the Senate, in the public galleries of which I was made to surrender my knitting - I was only 8 or 9 at the time.

TSS & I knitting in the House of Representatives. I deliberately took green knitting.

And triumphant with the (replica) mace topped with a TTWC which TSS knitted during the tour.

At least four guides told me that knitting was forbidden in Parliament House. Yeah, I know. If you live long enough, you win!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The liquid fire of strong desire I've pour'd it in each bosom


Has everyone see this book - am I the last to know about a fabulous offering from and Australian designer and blogger? Doesn't matter - it's now top of my wish list.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Seven Things Week 62

An odd week with a holiday on Tuesday and something on every other night - not a lot of time to concentrate on divestment, but a little progress was made.


IN (5)
1 uncut sewing pattern 50c @ Aussie Junk.
2 tops - hand-me-downs from Mum
1 pr jeans - $3.50 at Vinnies
1 pr pantihose - $2.50 at Vinnies


OUT (20)
16 balls and cones of wool. There was more than 16 x 50g equivalents in this lot, but it came down to weighing and doing the sums or actually getting it out the door. GIFTS & DONATIONS 3 tops - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pr stockings - BIN


SIAA
Nothing finished this week.


TOTALS
IN 5
OUT 20
NETT OUT 15
SIAA 0

Friday, November 07, 2008

My tocher's the bargain ye wad buy

Knitting accessory at Aussie Junk, Mitchell.




There was a box of about 36 of these yarn holders at Aussie Junk in Mitchell on Tuesday morning if anyone's interested. Sorry, forgot to ask a price, but that tends to change from person to person anyway.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Simply cannot believe it's THAT time of the year again - we're picking and choosing our subscriptions and pre-paying to save a bomb.

New this coming year will be a seat at the Brumbies home matches. My Old Flame has been a ticket holder for years, and I'm a bit partial to a game of footy, coming from an ecumenical sporting family where, although AFL is the family creed, we are just as happy at Union, League or soccer. Now that I think of it, the first rugger match I ever attended was in 1983 to watch the Old Flame play. He remembers it was a bitterly cold day, I remember his thighs - funny how people remember the same event differently. ;)

Film will be taken care of by the ANU Film Group again ($60 for movies March-November. TSS is about to calculate exactly what we spent per movie this year, but it's about $1.75) but we don't pay that until February.

On the performing arts side, we're renewing for The Song Company - only three concerts in Canberra, but such bliss!

And on last night we attended the 2009 season launch for the Canberra Theatre. Yes, it really was a year ago we attended the last one . I was pretty uninspired by this year's line up, but next year - here are my picks:
  • Bell Shakespeare Company's all women version of The Taming of the Shrew and
  • Sydney Theatre Company's production of Elling, which was so eloquently and enthusiastically presented to us by Pamela Rabe.

The minimum number of shows for a sub is four, so I'll just hope the budget is able to sustain these choices at the time.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A braw new naig wi' the tail o' a rottan

Yesterday we toddled out to Thoroughbred Park for the Melbourne Cup Day meeting* because even though I'm not a gambler

  1. I enjoy our cultural traditions
  2. the Old Flame enjoys the races and a flutter (it's where my dour Scots Presbyterian heritage runs up against his riotous Irish Catholic one) and
  3. because free entry to the race meetings is a perk of our rather expensive membership.
One of the traditions of The Race in Melbourne, is champagne and chicken partaken of in the carpark. We honoured the tradition by consuming an Asian inspired mango, noodle salad with mint, basil and bean shoots and honey soy marinated chicken in the members' outdoor seating area. The couple opposite us suggested that at $7 for a scant steak sandwich from the Lions stall, we had the right idea. We did buy a couple of glasses of champers, though.

There were horses; bookies; women in skimpy clothes, ridiculous hats, fake tan and, later, sunburn; men in suits with silly shoes and ties; champagne and knitting.

I bet what I could afford to lose which was $5 each way on a nag that came in 19th out of 21 but still came home much better off than most in attendance. insert smug Reformed look here

Actually, I overspent the $20 budget by $1.50. A round of champagne for 3 cost $16.50.

We were kindly and generously befriended early in the day by a woman who invited us to share her table in the members' bar. She's a horse owner and also "owns" her table for the year. As there is a ballot for unowned tables for major meetings like this one and seats are $50 a pop, it's a fortunate person who gets bottom real estate in the airconditioned comfort of the members' bar. Our new friend's table was right on the finish line so we had a grand view of the local races as well as the telecasts of the Flemington carnival and other interstate runs.

And we got home in time to enjoy a bit of gardening.

*We get the day off in Canberra because our local Labor Government wanted to shaft the Federal Howard Liberal Government for introducing industrial legislation that made our union picnic day illegal and the majority of Commonwealth public servants work in Canberra, making it one fewer productive days for the Federal Government. It may or may not change back now that Kev runs the national show and if when that legislation is repealed or amended. hint, hint Kev

Monday, November 03, 2008

But we hae meat, and we can eat

Tomorrow is Melbourne Cup Day. In Canberra this marks the start of the Christmas party season.

I approach Christmas with mixed feelings. Celebrations will be different this year. We'll be starting new traditions which is lovely, and farwelling old ones which is sad.

Some things don't change, though, and that will be the menu Chez Taph. Traditional baked meal (ham, pork and turkey with as many veg as can fit on a plate) and Christmas pudding for afters with an alternative of fruit sorbet for the gluten and/or dairy intolerant among us.

Apologies if this is too soon for some of you (or too late), but I bought our Christmas turkey and joint of pork today. I feel more organised now.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Seven Things Week 61

IN (5)
2 vintage Patons patterns ($1, garage sale)
1 Alice Starmore knitting book ($3, garage sale)
1 Two Fat Ladies cook book (20c, garage sale)
1 ball vintage Patonyle. (gift from TSS)


OUT (18)
6 balls yarn (returned to K-Mart because they charged me full price on them, not the reduced price)
12 balls yarn GIFTS & DONATIONS

SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT (2)
2 TTWC s

TOTALS
IN 5
OUT 18
NETT OUT 13
SIAA 2

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Which, by degrees, slips round her neck


We saw Children of the Silk Road on the big screen the other night - a good story, an OK film.

Jonathon Rhys Myers was fine in Bend it Like Beckham, not so much in this film. He did have an interesting wardrobe. The whole second half of the very long film, he wore a double rib scarf knitted at quite a tight tension. I kept trying to work out if it looked more like Cleckheaton Country Silk or Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed which was a little distracting.

I'd rather like it to be the Silk Road Tweed. In fact I'd rather like to make one in the Silk Road Tweed - damn, nothing in boodle.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And hands the rustic stranger up to fame


There are many reasons for loving vintage knitting patterns. Last weekend's haul brought an unexpected delight.

Oh Aussie children of the 70s and 80s, do you recognise this male knitwear model from a Patons pattern from the very late 1960s?

Do yourself a favour, try imaging a large Akubra hat on him.

Yup, Ian "Molly" Meldrum . Hoot+

For more vintage pattern fun, read Chocolatetrudi's stories here and here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

An' I maun guide it cannie


Two garage sales last weekend yielded gold.

Five vintage Patons patterns - two for my collection, the rest for mates (20c each) , Alice Starmore's Knitting Patterns of the British Islands ($3 - best price on Abebooks $45 + postage from NZ!), a pear for TSS's collection ($1) and Two Fat Ladies Ride Again (20c).

Not a bad haul of $5.20.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Seven Things Week 60

Ah well, there' always next week.

IN (76)
73 balls of yarn - OOPS
1 digitial set top box
1 book - review copy from publisher (more of that later)
1 rice/project bag - GIFT

OUT (1)
1 ball yarn

SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT (4)
4 beanies

TOTALS
IN 76
OUT 1
NET OUT - 75
SIAA 4

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And makes him quite forget his labour and his toil

Sometimes my work life and personal life intersect.


It may have been disconcerting for some people at a professional seminar last Friday, to see TSS sit down in the row in front of me in the last session of the day, casually extend an arm over the back of the seat, remove the TTWC from my hands and proceed to knit.

It certainly amused my old colleague sitting next to me, particularly when I photographed it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Might weel awauk desire

There was a little yarn accident on Saturday.


The Old Flame and I had to pop into K-Mart to get a digital set top box (cheaper than getting the outside aerial and wiring fixed). We got to within a few metres of the security gate when I spotted it - a trolley half-full of yarn and a sign indicating all balls 10c. I may have leapt like a cheetah on her prey at that moment.

Seconds later, as the balls were flying and I was muttering "wool, ack, ick" the Old Flame caught up with me, took one look and declared he would get a basket. He brought the basket, left again, and returned with a trolley and helped me sort through the piles for the wool. He has a good hand and could tell the wool from the ack without looking at the ball bands.

Time lost all meaning as the yarn frenzy escalated, so not only did I not question what happened next, I immediately complied.

A heavily accented voice murmured urgently in my ear, "Quick, you come with me!" and the woman who belonged to the voice tugged my arm. The Old Flame said "Go, I'll find you" and the next thing I know I'm chasing after the sprinting woman. It did occur to me that this was perhaps a little odd, but by then we were near her destination - the partially denuded faux-Feathers/Ostrich section of the yarn aisle where she began thrusting the garishly printed stuff into my arms. Turns out that although it was marked 70c a ball, the register was charging 10c. She'd already bought 50 balls and was going back for more, but having witnessed the onset of my yarn frenzy, was generously sharing. It took a little while to assure her that as grateful as I was, the yarn was all hers.

The Old Flame found me in the yarn aisle assaying for the Patons Jet and Cleckheaton Vintage Hues (all $3 a ball). Not as cheap as others had got it for on the other side of town, but roughly half price and cheap enough for socks for the Jean Colvin Hospital. Some of the yarn was out of reach so my Old Flame found a large metal trolley, climbed up on it and began tossing down balls of yarn.

Here he is grabbing the last of the Vintage Hues.


And that is how I came to buy 73 balls of yarn this week, more than half of it balls of pure wool for 10c a ball, and how our relationship survived its first yarn frenzy and the post-frenzy gleeful giggles every time I looked at the trolley. I know it wasn't a pretty sight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Whose hearts the tide of kindness warms

I also like smart, funny, kind people.

My project bag of choice is the cotton rice bag - they work for me on lots of levels (thrifty, green, washable, good size etc...). A colleague saw me knitting from one the other day and offered to give me his; which was kind.


One arrived today, with this note -


I guess the reference to this year's Booker winner is reasonable for one librarian to another, but it's still smart and made me smile. I'm 45th out of 99 on the request list for this book in the ACT Public Libraries - more copies on order, so that should change pretty quickly.

Monday, October 20, 2008

'Bout vines, an' wines, an' drucken Bacchus

I do so love a good sport and an extrovert. This is Maureen who helped us at a tasting at Doonkuna wines. She saw me take a photo of the beanie on a bottle of champagne we'd just tasted, and immediately whipped the hat off the bottle shoved it onto her head and posed for a photo.

A group of us hired a mini-van and did the Murrumbateman Moving Feast a couple of weeks ago. I lost count of the number of wineries (5?), plus the wine show tasting. It was a damp day, and cool without being cold - lovely for trundling around the countryside sipping wine and eating. Doonkuna was our first stop at about 10.15 - and this the first and last beanie completed. Another was begun and knitted on, but food and wine took precedence.

We ended up having a revolting cassoulet at Dionysus Wines for lunch but made up for it with a couple of desserts - dark chocolate cheesecake and lemon tart. Pick of the day was the lemon tart at the friendliest winery - Mackellar Ridge. They also had free brewed coffee for the designated drivers (like the Old Flame).


And this is pretty much my idea of heaven -I'm knitting in the wine cellar at the Helm Winery, and my Old Flame's nearby (he took the picture). The only thing missing is the fur children.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Seven Things Week 59

When one has 61 ins and it's only Sunday, one knows one will be pushing it up hill with a stick for the rest of the week. And so one did. I'm not too bothered at this stage, just as long as the trend does not continue.


IN (66)
50 wine glasses - 11 gifts with purchase and 39 from Aussie Junk ($10). Disposable plastic wine glasses are vile - on so many levels. This little lot means we have enough on hand for summer parties, bbqs etc. without resorting to the awful plastic or having to wash up half way through or hiring glasses.
2 reusable bottles with stoppers - 1 gift from TSS, 1 op shop purchase - for summer bottling
2 prs trousers - $2 Vinnies
1 vintage Patons pattern - $1 Vinnies
5 stationery trays - free c/- the Old Flame
2 prs knitting needles - SALVOS
1 reel knitting-in elastic - gift from TSS
1 costume for party this weekend - Vinnies
1 DVD player. This came home a couple of weeks ago and I forgot about it. Ooops. Secondhand.
1 cd with Musica Viva 2009 subscription brochure

OUT (30)
24 balls yarn - GIFTS & DONATIONS
6 sets technical notes - RECYCLING

SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT (3)
2 TTWCs
1 blanket piece

TOTALS
IN 66
OUT 30
NETT OUT - 36
SIAA 3

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Where Infamy with sad Repentance dwells

A trip to Goulburn on Saturday night for a family function was made complete by a sighting of Todd Carney at the Soldiers Club. Glad to see they had him locked up.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I am my mammny's ae bairn



More Canberra stencil art. These are on another low retaining wall, this time behind the Salvos shop at Jamieson. The wee foetus has been there a while but the capsule is new.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Without a penny in my purse, To buy a meal to me

Completely impossible to chat, enjoy hospitality, absorb an exhibition and take photos at the same time - I'm completely in awe of those who manage it.


The Old Flame is getting into the culturvorian spirit. He took me for a cup of tea prior to TSS's exhibition opening - free tasting at T2 in the Canberra Centre!


Then on to the opening. The crapicity of the photos is, perhaps, due to the constant wee wee jiggle of excitement.

TSS with TTWC at the opening (that's a VIP talking in centre shot).

The Old Flame checks out my favourite, the Kaleidoscope House.

And here's my favourite "accessory", the Macgregor's wee Westie.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Seven Things Week 58

It rather looks like I'm not trying. Not quite true. I'm spending a fair bit of time dealing with Dad's accumulation of papers and realia. It takes a lot of emotional energy - far more than dealing with my own stuff. I have to be fair to everyone involved, negotiate with the rest of the family, find places for things to go and then physically remove them. I'm just starting on his library. As I gave him most of the books in it, and it is quite extensive, and as he insisted on a dedication for every book, I'm reliving birthdays, Christmases and Fathers' Days and it's fucking tough. So if I don't have the wherewithall at home to do more than create garter stitch scarves in garish colours and worry about not finding seven things of my own to dispose of, you'll just have to bear with me.

IN (3)
1 Tupperware container - new, I had a little accident at a Tupperware party a couple of weeks ago
2 knitting magazines - newsagency on a low day when VK was in stock. I'm only human.

OUT (10)
1 pr jeans - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 coffee measure, broken - BIN
8 balls yarn - GIFTS & DONATIONS

SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT (4)
2 TTWCs
2 scarves

TOTALS
IN 3
OUT 10
Nett out 7

SIAA 4

Friday, October 10, 2008

owre the wee bit cup an' platie

I have my invitation to the opening of the year and I even have a period-appropriate ensemble to wear (as opposed to a theme-appropriate ensemble - no one needs to see me in a mini!) and I'm doing the wee wee jiggle in anticipation.

Should a blast. I'm really looking forward to seeing TSS's collection in a new light particularly my favourite, the Kaleidoscope House.

If you're in Canberra anytime between now and 26 January - get thee to Canberra Museum and Gallery for The Shopping Sherpa's exhibition of modern dolls' houses.