Sunday, April 27, 2008


Thanks to Cindy2Paw, Tink and AmandaJ for looking for the book. I can get one on inter-library loan or even buy one on Abebooks, just thought it was worth asking. The exhibition is going to be fantastic - more details as they become available.

I am thrilled to report that Mr. C loved, loved, loved, loved his birthday socks and there was absolutely no sliding around on tiled floors (while his mother was in the room). Ya know, there's knitting because ya love the process, and sometimes there's a payoff!

Mum's sock production has slowed but she's plugging away. She's loving this combination and making them in blokey sizes. This is one of 3 pairs in these colours.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Seven Things Week 34

The influx of patterns from Margit and a Rav offer sent me to the patterns again. These are a major source of clutter around here and because they've been one of the few things I've allowed myself to buy without guilt in the last 8 months, there's been a bit of an explosion. This is in part due to buying bulk lots from eBay etc to get just a few desirable items. Often I've culled the dross, but not always.

There has now been a cull and a further refined vintage pattern collection development policy which should help.

The knitting mags are now organised (so many in just a few years!) but I haven't listed all of the patterns yet. That is classed as displacement activity from actually tidying up and chucking out. It can happen once the cull has been achieved. Arrangement comes first, then description.

Most of the culled patterns have not left the building, though. Tempting as it is to drag the recycling bin the the bottom of the stairs and throw, responsible re-homing needs to take place.

One of my personal rules during this challenge is to not hold off disposing of things in a bonanza week just so I can easily make the numbers in the next week. I promise this is not what I am doing but look out for a bumper out count next week.

IN (62)
7 vintage patterns from a Rav offer.
50 vintage patterns from Margit - I won't keep all of them, but have only done a rough sort so far.
1 circular needle $3 OP SHOP
1 pr socks worth vintage Patonyle scraps $1.50 OP SHOP
1 small amount yarn to finish Mr C's birthday socks GIFT
1 set hand-crafted timber dpns. $15. Seriously, why would I pay a similar amount for Brittany's when I can support a local craftsman who will make to order? Love Peter Filmer's work.
1 knitting book. GIFT

OUT (176)
3 knitting mags GIFT
1 pair socks GIFT
16 pairs socks DONATION
2 circ needles GIFT
11 books GIFTS
51 mags and newsletters RECYCLING
40 mags, books and patterns OP SHOP
2 bags wooden beads OP SHOP
16 greetings cards OP SHOP
1 Tupperware container OP SHOP
1 pair jeans OP SHOP
1 skirt OP SHOP
1 jumper OP SHOP

2 pairs socks

IN 62
OUT 174


Friday, April 25, 2008

Lest We Forget

In the lead up to ANZAC Day this year, the ACT Heritage Library has been publishing some of the stories of people on the ACT Memorial.

One in particular resonated with me as a knitter. It records some of the story of the Snowy River Route march and quotes the recruitment march's organiser, Captain FR Webb

"What can I say of the noble women of Monaro? They along the route were ever fountains of energy, amongst whose refreshing showers were crystallised the golden heart of the women of Monaro, and the click of whose knitting needles along the route was an everlasting lullaby."

we will remember them

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tasmanians, I need your help

ISO book:

The broad arrow : being passages from the history of Maida Gynnham, a 'Lifer'
by Oline Keese.

First published 1859 and reprinted several times since, most recently about 1990. An early novel of the life of a Tasmanian convict.

A textile artist friend is developing an exhibition (it will be in Hobart next year probably) and needs a copy for her research. She has early Tasmanian convicts in her family and this book was recommended. Happy to buy and pay postage etc...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Soft shoe shuffle

Socks for Mr C's 9th birthday

When one of my aunt's was asked to be a godmother for the first time she wanted to know what her ongoing duties would be. "New shoes every birthday", was the canny parents' response.

I can't come at shoes for Mr C. this year, but my 9 tomorrow nephew and godson can have new socks. These are specially constructed, slipping about on the tiles socks - we're just not telling his mother that.

The pattern is Melissa Deutsch Scott's Bushwalkers from Yarn issue 3.

I knitted the smallest size on 3mm needles rather than 3.75mm for a denser, hopefully more longer wearing fabric and also because Mr C. is only 9, and the smallest women's size still looked a bit big. Also didn't use a contrast yarn like the originals, because this colourway was so gorgeous it really didn't need the lift. The pattern features a garter stitch heel flap for cushioning and a star shaped toe.

The yarn is a Happy Spider special dye job in colourway "Camouflage". The 8ply was part of a huge lot of yarn donated by Margit before she left Canberra. Much of it went for felting, but some of it was soft enough for garments. This yarn has responded to a tight gauge very well.

Having succumbed to a bout of startitis, I also used up 17g of scrap sock yarn (Moda Vera Adore, colour tangerine) to make these little sweeties. Based on Jenny Occleshaw’s Little Roll Top Sock from an old copy of Creative Knitting. Unfortunately CK didn’t publish heel and gusset details and Ms Occleshaw's promised amendments never showed up, so I’ve improvised them. Also went down from a 2.75 to a 2.5mm needle to make them a little smaller.

Tiger, tiger socks

Not to be outdone, Mum continues with the bedsock output. Still using up the Jet, the solid colour is the original Jet colour, the variegated is the camel colour overdyed by Spidey.

The colours are not true but they are bright and cheery.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Drumroll please...

And the award for most ridiculous unitask object spotted this week goes to....

The Eggjector

Several pieces of plastic to take the pain out of peeling hard boiled eggs.

Not surprisingly, this useless piece of petro-chemical product was in mint condition at Salvos Queanbeyan.

Cry baby

I may be a bad blogger, a bad commenter and a truly crap correspondent, but I must have done something right.

This week, the best thing that can happen to a knitter happened to me - three times. I unexpectedly met recipients of my knitted love actually wearing the thing/s I knitted them - in public, you know, where other people could see them. Made me want to cry.

And some lovely people thought of me when they were in the vicinity of vintage knitting patterns. That made me want to cry, too.

And I went to the footy with a bloke who didn't think it all offensive, or even remarkable, that I knitted a sock while were out together, in public, you know, where other people could see. Yep, made me want to cry again.

I have not, however, spent my time in tears. I've been too busy grafting the toes of bedsocks and darning in all the bloody ends. Here's about 10 days' worth of sock production from Mum for Bron's CanAssist project. Despite pneumonia she's keeping up the production.

Consequently all I've managed to finish is 2 beanies, but I have made progress on many socks. Would be great to actually finish a pair this week.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Seven things week 33

Telstra still haven't fixed the line. Intermittant internet and non-existent telephone. Apparently over a week is the urgent service they provide where a person is caring for someone on LIFE SUPPORT.

IN (11)
1 vest's worth yarn from a destash on Ravelry. It's lovely - vintage Patons Lambswool 80 (80% wool, 20% nylon) in a not quite solid forest green. Soooo lovely and really cheap. Thanks Kate.
3 CDs - a late inclusion on Friday night at The Song Company concert. This completes my holdings for The Song Company and I'm a very happy bunny.
6 sets Knit Picks sock needles. It's a long story, I didn't order them and yet, here they are. They look nice.
1 set chopsticks - present from Dad. They are very pretty. When I opened the box my nieces declared they were knitting needles and had to be shown that they weren't. Jess said I could use them as needles anyway. Love that kid.

OUT (79)
50 blank DVDs GIFT
1 oil jar OP SHOP
2 tops OP SHOP
1 tea pot GIFT
1 Tupperware container GIFT
1 spinning wheel GIFT
6 bobbins GIFT
1 orifice hook GIFT
1 pair hand carders GIFT
10 hair elastics BIN
1 set dpns GIFT

2 dresses refashioned to make them wearable. So when I say "refashioned", I mean shortened by 12-14" to take them from frumpy to fabbo length and repositioned some of the darts.
2 beanies

IN 11
OUT 79

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Seven Things Week 32

Rushing to post before my internet connection dies again. A pox on Telstra!

IN (16)
1 book from OP SHOP $2
1 sheet for making stash bags OP SHOP $3.50
1 cocktail shaker. It was a whole bar set but I only want the shaker so donated the other stuff back. OP SHOP $10.50
1 cocktail dress. Brand new LBD that fits! OP SHOP $6
4 pairs stockings OP SHOP $2
1 pr brand new RM Williams boots OP SHOP $30
1 project bag GIFT
4 hats worth yarn GIFT
2 knitting books AMAZON

OUT (136)
1 crucifix. My nephew, who is also one of my godsons, made his First Holy Communion last Saturday night. I gave him the cross I was given the day I received Communion for the first time. GIFT
1 pair wristwarmers. My own pair donated to a niece who lost one of hers and these were the only ones in the correct school colour GIFT
3 vintage mohair wraps. I love them but cannot wear them next to my skin and the colours are all wrong for using them in home decorations etc. OP SHOP
4 cotton singlets for the mechanic's RAG BAG
2 shirts GIFT
1 pr trousers OP SHOP
8 tops OP SHOP
4 jumpers OP SHOP
1 serving dish, chipped & cracked BIN
1 aluminium pudding basin OP SHOP
2 cake decorating templates OP SHOP
12 tea caddies OP SHOP
22 Tupperware containers OP SHOP / GIFTS
21 cook books OP SHOP
1 knitting pattern GIFT
2 knitting magazines GIFTS
4 cake tins OP SHOP
1 vase OP SHOP
1 vase GIFT
1 painting GIFT
3 mugs OP SHOP
1 trinket box OP SHOP
12 magazines OP SHOP
1 cassette BIN
1 skirt OP SHOP
3 dresses OP SHOP
2 jackets OP SHOP
22 craft books OP SHOP
1 plastic needle gauge broken BIN
1 child’s sipping cup OP SHOP
1 Walkman OP SHOP
1 Walkman cover OP SHOP
1 needle felted sheep GIFT
8 cake tins; rusted and yucky BIN

OUT (9)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Silent Running

I'll go a bit quiet over the next few weeks.

Just put Dad on a 'plane bound for China and North Korea. Mum's not 100% so I'll be up at her place for as long as it takes.

Thanks to everyone for their comments recently. I've checked out your suggestions Trudi and will keep them in mind for another time. I really do not want to encourage Mum to use sock yarn - I'll never see a ball of Patonyle again!

It's pretty obvious that I'll have to find more photos of Hotties in Handcraft for you all. Promise to try and find a few more. That geologist was something else though - might be hard to beat.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Seven Things Week 31

Last Saturday's Frugalling Fiesta TM was a bit of a blow out. I probably didn't need to get the Tinka Toy set or all of the wine charms, but I'm not too disappointed in myself and I've compensated well with the outs.

There are a couple of major goals for April.

1. To BookCross or otherwise divest myself of books that I don't love or require and
2. Do the clothes cull, again.

In May I will be rearranging the rooms at Taph Towers and don't want to move crap around unneccesarily. A serious book and clothes cull will free up some of the storage space around here.
If I had the resources everything would go into a storage unit and I'd just furnish one room at a time over the month. Not going to happen but I reckon I can work a modified version.

IN (39)
2 bolts linen curtaining. Divine - just perfect for my bedroom. Stay tuned for blind making in May. $40 SALVOS
3 sets single bed sheets. Just glorious 1960s cotton sheets, still with the shiny sizing all over them. Two stripey patterns of pink, green, blue, mauve and yellow on white. Just like I remember from childhood. These are destined to be stash bags for the boodle cupboard when it is rearranged. $15 OP SHOP
2 novels $4 SALVOS
9 knitting patterns OP SHOPS $4.50
1 vintage Tinka Toy set $4 SALVOS
3 sets wine charms $6.50 SALVOS (one is a rather nice Alex Liddy Christmas themed set which will be one of my Secret Santa gifts this year; one set is for my SIL's birthday and the other will probably become stitch markers)
1 plastic needle holder $2 SALVOS
1 pr socks worth yarn - vintage yarn in the colourway "Happy Camel" - hoot+
1 cone weird yarn - strange slubby yarn with a boucle plied around it in shades of green and pink. So hideous it had to be mine. $5 and they chucked the "Happy Camel" in for free.
3 knitting books (Spin to Knit; Handpaint Country and the Golden Hands Book of Knitting and Cr***et). All second-hand but only the Golden Hands was cheap. Still I've wanted both Spin to Knit and Handpaint Country for ages and Canty's had them. Mr Canty was a bit cross I bought them because he rather wanted to "keep them making the shelves look pretty for another couple of weeks". Isn't that sweet?
2 dresses bought new but 60% off (actually from last week - I forgot)
1 yarn holder GIFT (also from last week - it was in use when I did the count and it got missed)
1 bag from my swap partner GIFT
1 skein handspun from my swap partner GIFT
3 vintage Patons patterns from my swap partner GIFT
2 cotton sheets (to become nighties for next summer) $7 SALVOS
1 pr socks worth Patonyle $4 VINNIES
1 pr socks worth vintage yarn $2 SALVOS

OUT (140)
14 balls of yarn GIFTS
20 empty cd cases OP SHOP
19 souvenir spoons. Nanna was convinced, for YEARS, that I collected souvenir spoons. I'm sure it started out as her bringing me back a spoon from a trip and me politely thanking her and saying how lovely it was. From that one spoon, an entire stir* of souvenir spoons was born. I've accidentally added to it over the years. As a guest speaker, I was often the recipient of a spoon as a speakers' gift (please see previous post re speakers' gifts). Some I've used in tea caddies, but even with my caffeine addiction I can't use this many. The collection has followed me from town to town and house to house for a VERY long time. There was an initial cull done some years ago, and I kept those which were more special than the others for whatever reason. They aren't that special, though. OP SHOP
2 bras; new but ill-fitting DONATION
1 bra - beyond useful BIN
1 wash cloth GIFT (forgotten from last week)
1 stockpot - excess to requirement OP SHOP
6 tops and blouses DONATIONS
2 cotton nighties worn to the point of indecency - into the rag bag for the mechanic GIFTS
1 set baby socks GIFT
13 prs wristwarmers (again, there were 26 that went off and I'm claiming half as my stash component. I noticed in this consignment considerable quantities of wool contributed by TSS and Spidey - thankyou my friends) DONATIONS

2 TTWCs - with grateful acknowledgement of the assistance of Janet and TSS, both of whom became antsy watching me knit and who helped with a couple of beanies for a while. I do so hate to see people idle.
1 pair socks
IN 39
OUT 140


*No idea what or even if there is a collective noun for souvenir spoons, but a "stir" seems about right on a couple of levels. ;)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Do you see what I see?

What do you see in this image?

When I opened the State Library of NSW journal atmitchell, (Vol 4, No. 1, March 2008) this morning, I saw crocheted mittens first. Then I wondered who had made him the mittens and did she know how filthy they were?

I was looking at the picture through the eyes of a crafter and one who is well acquainted with the knitted and crocheted form. To me, the picture is of a bloke holding a penguin with mittened hands, and those mittens look like home-crafted crochet to me.

Someone else looking at the picture would describe it differently. A geologist might see the rocks as the primary subject of the photo, the man’s partner might see it as a portrait of his/her lover, an ornithologist might think it a very fine photo of a particular type of penguin, someone else would see the parka and it’s metal snaps and hood. A hairdresser might see the style of “do” and the recent beardage.

Because indexing images is part of what I do, and so I could justify researching and writing a blog post on work time, I thought I’d take a look at how the Mitchell Library described the image.

Wow, they describe it as “1930. J.F. Ivanec, geologist, with a rock-hopper penguin” and no where in the catalogue record is there a reference to the mittens, their style etc. So apart from finding out that my latest crush visited the Antarctic in 1930 and is most likely dead now (another doomed relationship *sigh*), the person who described the image didn’t think the clothing or hair was important or know anything about the rocks behind.

As I will point out when using this in a training session, someone interested in the history, design and use of hand-crafts, and crochet in particular, would not find this image in a search of the database. What other evidence are we missing out on because we see what we know and don’t describe what is there?

However, I don't think I need to explain that when this popped into view on Ravelry last night, I did NOT see a banana cosy.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Rachel, a member of the Canberra SnB, is keen to knit an object that is a craft/art/recycling statement.

Her goal is to collect 1000 used tea-bag strings for her creation. Stained strings are fine, even hoped for.

If you can help with donations of used tea-bag strings,please leave a comment (with your email address) and I'll get her contact details to you, or email using the email address attached to this blog.

Rachel is also contactable on Ravelry, screen name Owl.

She will be away until mid-May so there’s no great hurry, but I think I’ll make a start right now –chin-chin.

*image blatantly burgalled from Wooftease

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No fool like an ...

My Aussie Bag Lady Swap parcel arrived today.

Those of you keen on April Fool's pranks will appreciate that my bag is, wait for it


Mel did a beautiful job - it reminds me a lot of the Snapping Turtle Skirt (Rav link, sorry) by Norah Gaughan, and we all know was a NG groupie I am!

The yarn is Noro Silk Garden in colours of red, pink and green - rich, rich colours
that pull you in.
There's also Maya Gold chocolate (considerably less than an hour ago when the photo was taken)here), vintage Patons patterns (such a good little stalker) and divinity of divinities, some of Mel and Pretty Girl's handspun. Glorious blues and purples and so soft and snuggly. Simply gorgeous.

I'm a very happy fool. :)