Friday, March 28, 2008

Seven Things Week 30

IN (20)
1 bison jug and bowl set. Yes, another one for $10 at the same op-shop and no, I'm not sharing the secret location. The other one I'm using as my breakfast set - great for porridge. This is a little smaller, I'm thinking for hummus and drizzle oil.
1 manual coffee grinder VINNIES TUGGERANONG
2 cones laceweight NZ wool- divine GIFT
1 skein red 8ply - wooly, squishy goodness GIFT
1 skein black possum/merino blend - my favourite soft new pet (don't tell Peggy) GIFT
1 set shell stitchmarkers - GIFT
4 hats worth yarn - TSS (she's back and she's enabling)
9 balls laceweight mohair

OUT (104)
1 pr spectacles - broken BIN
1 knitted and felted BAG SWAP
1 knitting book BAG SWAP
1 note book BAG SWAP
4 balls wool BAG SWAP
9 copy sheet protectors - WORK
2 writing pads - WORK
2 binders - WORK
9 balls yarn GIFT
2 metal colanders. Purchased with the idea of making hanging baskets from them. They've been here more than a year and no hanging baskets made - OP SHOP
2 packets photo printer paper - GIFT
3 tupperware containers - OP SHOP
1 toilet roll holder - OP SHOP
1 biscuit tin - OP SHOP
1 weird basket - OP SHOP
2 prs bedsocks - DONATIONS
45 prs wristwarmers - DONATIONS (There were actually 90 pairs. I'm claiming half as outs as the stash from which they were knitted is mostly mine. I have, however, bought yarn for Mum in the last six months which has not made it to this list, so I'm only claiming half)
2 knitting magazines GIFTS

1 knitted and felted bag BAG SWAP
1 Midnight Express beanie
1 Midnight Express necklet

IN 20
OUT 104

SIAA (4)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

No wuckin furries

What's the foulest four-letter word starting with "F" that you can think of?

Effin' FELT.

People, please, remind me that I am felt-challenged. Next time you read or hear my words - "bet that wool'd felt like a bugger" smack me - HARD.

My Bag Swap Pal is going to be a tad disappointed if she thinks she's getting a lovely knitted bag from me.
First I knitted an enormous garter stitch mitred square front. Looks a little large, but this yarn is so sticky, it'll felt like a bugger - no worries.

Then I knitted a matching mitred square back. 400g seems a lot of wool to have used by this point, but, you know - felting shrinks about 30% right? - no worries.

I ran out of garter stitch puff about then, but I only had the long garter stitch band that is the base sides and strap, - no worries.

Over the Canberra Day long weekend I forced myself to knit and knit and knit the garter stitch bloody band and spent 3 hours sewing the thing together. Still, it'd be worth it and I've still got a couple of weeks - no worries.

Then it was chucked in a hot wash with some similar coloured towels and a couple of pairs of jeans. First go around it looked ok, the fibres were matting and the black colour bleeding a little, but within the bounds of reason. Definitely needed another cycle, but I'd come to expect that - no worries.

3 cycles later, a good hard rubbing by hand and some hot/cold shock therapy, the bag had felted beautifully at the bottom of the sqare and along one side, not so much the strap and the other side. Also the top of the bag refused to shrink, leaving me with a fluted top instead of a sturdy square bag. I chucked it into the naughty corner for a while (because that had worked soooo well last time). Am starting to worry, but not much.

I am reminded that I have a clothes dryer, so another hot cycle for luck and into the dryer. Seriously - no change. If anything, the strap was both felting and stretching at the same time. The fibres were matting but it seemed to be getting longer. I stuffed it with a rolled up towel and left it to fully dry.

Easter Monday and mail out was due to start. The way to fix it, I decided, was to cut and sew the strap to a reasonable size and line the bag to try and straighten it up a little - no worries, just oblivious optimism.

Apparently making tomato chutney, supervising two thirteen year old budding knitters and sewing a lining from some rather lovely Indonesian fabric that had been a friend of a friend's dress, are not compatible activities. The lining refused to come together, largely because of the irregularities of the bag, but Jess has the beginnings of her first wash cloth and a few more kilos of tomatoes have been transformed into my second favourite condiment (chilli plum sauce is the most favourite).

In a vain attempt to turn a sow's ear into a felt purse and to stabilise the obvious problem stretch spots, I machine sewed a fancy stitch in a contrast colour around the edges. Not too bad, but still not the thing of beauty of my imagination.

So now it's Thursday night - tomorrow is the last day to post bags and I've begged The Shopping Sherpa to save the day. She generously provided one of her messenger bags in a colour enjoyed by my swap pal. The other little giftees are all packed and ready to go and I'm waiting for some hand-felted i-cord to dry, because the whole package is going to be wrapped in the sad excuse for a bag so that my Pal will at least know that I tried and I'm sorry.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Toe to toe

Riot in Rio bedsocks

Mum is in need of a new knitting obsession specialisation. I am awash with wrist warmers and about to send some to other cities just to share the joy around.

She knitted some washcloths last week and enjoyed it and will do more for the gift stash. To this end I bought her 9 balls of a microfibre yarn on special at Scablight and some op-shop balls of cotton as well. It's not going to hold her for long and could get expensive as the cotton stash is well depleted.

Unravelling jumpers has slowed down her wrist warmer production somewhat, and in a clean-up last weekend I found a few more for her, but she'll have those done this week.

What I need is something that she'll enjoy, that is portable, will go to a good cause and can be supported from current boodle.

Bed socks for Kuka's Can Assist project!

I've given her the pattern, bought her new needles, taken her about 40 balls of yarn from deep within the boodle (inspired yarn/pattern match, Kuka!) and done a couple of test runs with stash yarn.

Riot in Rio knitted from Moda Vera Luxury in the Forrest colourway. Snuggly AND sparkly - I love 'em but they aren't everyone's cup of tea.
Heel detail, Riot in Rio bedsocks

And because Kuka put the Clafoutis pattern with Jet, I had a practice with some of that, too.

Camel Toe Bedsocks

Toe detail, Camel Toe Bedsocks

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Seven Things Week 29

Not QUITE so bad this week, but with no let up on the work front and the other distractions in my life (anyone want a slightly dysfunctional family - ready made?), I haven't been able to concentrate on 7 things, except to indulge in some op-shop therapy. You should have seen what I left behind, though.

IN (25)
3 pieces of fabric (1 length navy wool for winter skirt; 1 length vintage sea green linen for shirt; 1 very large piece periwinkle blue wool felt for king size blanket) from Salvos Queanbeyan
1 ball yarn to finish SIL's birthday present Scablight
2 pairs curtains Scablight
9 balls knitting cotton Scablight2 vintage knitting patterns Salvos Queanbeyan
1 navy linen skirt Salvos Salvos Queanbeyan
1 lot vintage cream fringing Salvos Queanbeyan
1 vintage silver cutlery set Salvos Queanbeyan
2 lots TTWC yarn Salvos Queanbeyan
1 patchwork knitting bag Salvos Queanbeyan
1 bag spinning fibre EGMTK fibre club
1 set stitch markers EGMTK fibre club bonus - they are soooooo cute - wee little skulls!

OUT (56)
2 cushion covers OP SHOP
1 tea cosy - ruined BIN
1 glass - chipped BIN
50 balls wool DONATIONS
2 reels knitting-in elastic GIFT

SIAA (3)
2 prs bedsocks
1 washcloth

IN 25
OUT 56

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Seven Things Week 28

A week in which I fail again. I promise to do better next week - well to try harder and to not bid on online auctions for yarn.

IN (65)
3 DVDs wrong to buy new, I know, but when it's cheaper to buy new than rent the DVD at the weekly rate, it's hard to resist.
60 projects worth of yarn. This is an estimate - a conservative estimate. There was a yarnalanche at Taph Towers this week - details in the weeks to come but I blame Spidey, the absence of the Voice of Frugal Reason and a particularly stressful time at work. OK, I blame those people and things and my well documented weakness in the face of major yarn bargains.
1 knitting book
1 eyelash curler. Heated eyelash curler as used by make-up artiste to the knitting community of Canberra - Joods. Seriously fabulous piece of equipment. Neat, discrete, black, effective.

OUT (28)
1 glass - smashed BIN
1 small felted envelope - my first attempt at machine felting from about 18 months ago. It worked brilliantly but was quite, quite useless for anything. BIN
1 cd tower OP SHOP

SIAA (3)
2 washcloths

IN 65
OUT 28

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Seven Things Week 27

Having Monday afternoon off I popped into an op-shop or three and picked up a few items that couldn't be left behind (knitting-in elastic and knitting cotton for 50c each; Bison bowl and jug set for $10; shirts for my brother). It was the beginning of the week, I was confident I could accommodate such modest purchases.

At nightfall though, thanks to my generous friends, this goose was well and truly cooked. Gifts of yarn, equipment and reading matter all came in. I'm not complaining. But you know how it is. One little nibble of the edge of a chocolate and suddenly you're surrounded by lolly wrappers and may be permanently wedged into the chair.

I'd also forgotten about the Lifeline Bookfair. I have to attend on the first day, Friday - it's a work thing. I do have to take a break, though, and I managed to snaffle a couple of special items. I also enabled JMcK. It's true I thrust cr***et books at her; it was the smell of a bargain and I am not ashamed. As an aside, it was thrilling to see someone else knitting in the queue to get in.

This post is a day earlier than usual because I'm taking back Sundays. Sunday is now an obligation and computer free day at Taph Towers. I will not be doing stuff for anyone but me on Sundays and I will enjoy it, no matter how hard it is.

IN (67)
6 beanies worth of wool GIFTS
3 reels knitting in elastic SALVOS
4 balls knitting cotton SALVOS
1 wool winder TSS although Mum confiscated it on sight is testing it for me at her house so it may never actually make it home
1 Bison jug SALVOS
1 Bison bowl SALVOS
2 men's shirts. VINNIES. Bought for my brother who doesn't like them so I'm keeping them for refashioning
1 set old spinning and weaving journals TSS
2 craft books LIFELINE
28 vintage patterns LIFELINE
18 knitting/textile magazines LIFELINE

OUT (32)
1 shopping basket on wheels GIFT
26 balls wool DONATIONS/GIFTS
1 circular needle GIFT
3 projects worth of wool - this is a shit-load of wool, but I took it on in projects' worth so that's how it's going out. RETURN
1 pair baby socks GIFT

SIAA (2)
1 washcloth

IN 67
OUT 32
nett out - 35


image courtesy of The Colonial Theatre

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Diddle liddle liddle lum

Not socks for an infant Jake the Peg - a "pair and a spare" of baby socks.

Years ago when baby knitting was pretty much all I did, I tried to always make a "pair and a spare" for people I knew because babies are expert bootee losers.

Scraps of Patons Dreamtime 4ply baby wool - each sock takes about 5g total.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

All about me

Kylie and Michelle tagged me for this one, and I'm pretty sure I owe AmandaJ a meme as well.

I resent these things because I end up in a very negative place doing them. TSS suggested I do seven things that I love or which make me happy which may turn out to be weird anyway. She's brilliant. Also, I prefer not to single others out for treatment - if you wish to participate, that's fine, but I'm not tagging. I refuse to perpetuate chain mail.

It has taken me the best part of a week to compile this list.


1. Early mornings. Yup, I'm an early bird. Slug-a-beds think that early birds think that they, the early birds, are superior. I do not agree. I love slug-a-beds. If you are in my house, have the decency to stay in bed for at least an hour after I get up or the consequences will be ugly.

2. Silence. Quite possibly related to no. 1, or indeed, the cause of it. The older I get the more I need refuge from noise.

3. Connecting with my clients. Really, it's a complete buzz to work out what it is they want and then help them find it. Rarely does someone come in knowing how to ask for what they want and quite often they haven't been into a library for most of their lifetime. It's also a privilege to be there for the "eureka moment" in their research.

4. Green and Black organic, fair trade chocolate. The Maya Gold orange and spice infused is wonderful. So far only been able to find the Maya Gold, Milk and the 70% at Woollies. LMK if you see any of the others or the hot chocolate.

5. All things citrus. Lemons, limes, ruby grapefruit, blood oranges, mandarines, cumquats - love 'em all. My 40th birthday was all citrus.

6. Autumn!

7. Going to a good team sporting match. Most sports, I'm not that fussy, but I have a preference for hockey and football of any code. I will watch matches on TV but it isn't the same and I do not derive as much pleasure from them. Just love being at the ground. One of the things I miss about my life in Sydney is wandering down to Henson Park on a Saturday afternoon and barracking for the Newtown Jets Rugby League team. - Go the Blue Bags in their centenary year!

8. The unaccompanied human voice in song. The Song Company and the Tallis Scholars are absolute faves followed by just about any Welsh male voice choir. At one of my places of work, we often had Australian Opera singers rehearse in our hall and once I had the Sydney Male Choir all to myself for an hour - toe curlingling blissful! OK, it wasn't only the toes affected - you asked for weird things, now you have them.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Smashing pumpkins

TTWC 2008.20 with butternut

TTWC 2008.21 and my new favourite knitting spot

TSS donated a large bag of the recycled handspun bought for $2 at Vinnies. It's knitting up beautifully on 5.5mm needles and 72 stitches.

Monday, March 03, 2008

But I miss you most of all my darling...

When Autumn leaves start to fall.
On the first day of the month I wore hand-knitted socks for the first time this year and cast on a cardigan.

Despite all the the WIPs, I need to knit me a cardie right now!

This recycled 8-10ply in cherry red wants to be the Filigree Lace Jacket from White Lies Design. The pattern has been here for a while and the time seemed right.

So far it looks a bit big but how are you supposed to measure gauge across a lace piece? Is it blocked or unblocked? Surely with lace one blocks to measurements and there's a fair bit of play. It would be so much better to give WPI or stst tension and let me work it out from there. I suspect I’m going to have to go down a size. We’ll see once I finish a sleeve.

And the Powerball ticket? Not my winning entry I assure you - it's my row counting system. I cross through the numbers, having previously marked the squares where something like an increase needs to happen. I use pencil to cross through the numbers so the mark can be rubbed out when if I need to tink a row or so.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Seven Things Week 26

IN (16)

1 t-shirt
1 vintage gold glomesh change purse to match my wallet and my grandmother's cigarette case.
1 knitting magazine
9 projects worth of yarn
1 car charge for the mobile - thanks TSS
1 Tropfest DVD - thanks TSS
1 garden bench
1 garden table

OUT (92)
1 pillowcase OP SHOP
1 pillow BIN
1 library bag GIFT
60 pairs knitting needles DONATIONS
7 balls wool GIFT
1 goldfish bowl and accessories OP SHOP
1 toilet roll holder (new and in packet) OP SHOP
1 hessian sack (my Reverse Garbage members' sack). Silly, really, but was very hard to let this go. RG was such a part of my life for a very long time. We started going while at uni to get materials for an ex's architectural models. It provided cheap materials for clothes, gifts and homewares over the years and kept several children entertained and artistically employed. I've made stage props and costumes from its bounty and when I really needed it, RG gave up a huge amount of gorgeous yarn to knit through the pain of an ex's wedding and the loss of the children I parented. But I don't live near Reverse Garbage to use the sack anymore and a friend needs it for his potatoes. GIFT


2 Washcloths
1 set baby socks

IN 16
OUT 92