Wednesday, July 30, 2008

White Rabbit

"No time to say hello, goodbye... " as the White
Rabbit said.

That's how it is with blogging and it's mutual
obligations. I make time most days to read what
everyone is up to through bloglines, and those of you
on Ravelry appear in my occasional forays into the
friends activity tab, but commenting has just about
dried up. I try and respond to comments left here,
but if you don't have an email address on your
profile, it probably won't happen.

I was suddenly seized on Sunday, with the need to knit
beanies. I know I'm always knitting beanies, but
usually it's just something that happens, not
something I have a real desire to do. But there you
have it. 5 beanies completed between Dr Who on Sunday
night and bedtime last night.

It's a combined compulsion to use up boodle to have
things finished.

I've also worked out I can get a women's double rib
beanie out of a 50g ball of Twilleys Freedom Wool.
Whoot - totally gunna bust that stash and it's sooo
lovely to knit with.

Trying to post this remotely - hope it works.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Seven Things Week 47

Never, ever have I claimed to be good at maths. Calculators were invented for people like me. I can do minor mental arithmetic, but give me a long list of numbers and my brain melts.

As a whole year of doing the seven things challenge is in sight I thought I might check my numbers. Someone pointed out once that I'd made an error in the "ins", so I knew there would be some readjustment, possibly meaning I had a lot more ins than I thought.

Um, well, yeah, there were a few more ins but there were a LOT more outs - more than 250 nett. Not that this has really been about numbers. It's no better to get rid of 700 than 7 if one's attitude to acquisition hasn't actually changed. I'd just be swapping old stuff for new if my mindset hadn't changed - and it took a BLOODY long time to change.

Anyway, the sidebar has been changed, and individual posts will be progressively changed as I get the time. It'll take me a week or so.

IN (5)
3 prs stockings VINNIES
1 diary cover GIFT. Tired of me moaning about how I miss my Filofax but my little one is too small now my life is complicated by having to keep track of more people than me, TSS donated a Filofaxesque cover. I'm so happy I could squeal. Just have to get the diary part - unless someone has the Filofax holepunch I could borrow and then I could disbind my current horrible diary and transform the pages. I REALLY wanted to get a PocoProfile "Canberra" in purple kangaroo leather but baulked at the $165 price tag.

OUT (42)
36 balls yarn (that bloody awful white fluffy stuff). This is a bit of a cheat. Happy Spider and I did a swap for this yarn. She got some stuff to overdye and I got this to make trim. It wasn't ball for ball but smeh - she got 36 balls back and that's what's important to me! GIFTS & DONATIONS
4 hair towels. When my hair was long, I cut up a couple of worn out bath towels to make long, narrow towels to wrap around my head after washing it. My hair is now short and I have enough facewashers, tea-towels etc. BIN

SIAA (1)
Miserable amount, but with three days of training this week, there's been no bus knitting and no tea and lunch break knitting. Apparently I get a lot done in the 15 minute each way commute and during breaks.

IN 5
OUT 42

Thursday, July 24, 2008

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

My mother's cousin is with us for a couple of weeks. He's more like a younger brother to Mum than a cousin, having spent a lot of time at their house when they were kids. I like him a lot - much, much more than my other uncles.

He spent 10 days with us in South West Rocks last year and was with us the day we hit the motherload of handknits for the entire North coast at a Vinnies in Laurieton - on a half price sale!

It wasn't a pretty sight that day - he had to make several trips to the car for us and he spent the next week watching us unpick and unravel the very many jumpers we had found.

He must have been paying attention, though, because he arrived on Tuesday with two suitcases. One of his clothes and one of beautiful hand-knitted woollen jumpers from op-shops in his little Queensland town. Mum doesn't know whether to laugh or cry but I'm just so proud!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Snow Bunnies and other atrocities

If one has to fall in love, it might as well be with a skier.

Apart from the wonderful possibilities for creating and bestowing knitted gifts, there are the ski trips.

As well as hours of car passenger knitting (2 TTWCs - there would have been a third but the dark and deep brown yarn in small lengths defeated me on our return journey), there is apr├Ęs ski time. I ski not and with my crappy ankle it’s probably not a sport I'll be taking up soon – maybe next year. I do, however, have a prodigous talent for apres ski. Always go with one’s strengths!

Although our trip last Sunday did not go completely to plan, I managed a walk in the snow around Smiggin Holes/Perisher Blue for an hour and then retreated to the pub for a few hours of knitting and people watching. I promise to be more adventurous, use the snow shoes next time and actually take some photos.

The first of Mum's "Whinger" socks was finished in the hotel and the second started. So BORED by it. Really, I need more of distraction when knitting these socks than people watching.

Some of our party returned at lunch time and joined me in the hotel for the afternoon. There was hot chocolate drinking, collective noun creating and a merry game of spot the hideous beanie.

Now I know about people in glass houses etc. but we just couldn't help it. I must have missed the memo about leaving good taste at the entrance to the National Park!

Among the contenders for most revolting head wear were the baby poo yellow felted gnome hat (which beautifully coordinated with the Buchanan tartan scarf sported by the hat wearer’s partner and which I strongly suspect to be a set) and the acrylic fake Mohawk (no pics, sorry, but I’m so going to next time!). The winner, despite the stiff competition, was the result of an unholy union between Big Bird, a toilet mat and spray-on tan. Seriously, this thing was safety orange and that particular type of squeaky “plush” nylon that appeared in bathrooms in the 1970s. It was a helmet shape and worn by someone who may have been a snow bunny years ago and who had spent far too long in the snow without sunscreen.

And the collective noun? Well what would you call a group of snow bunnies? We thought, perhaps, a Hilton, but eventually agreed on a flurry of snow bunnies.

The Old Flame managed to Kinnear the only other knitter in the place. She was sitting behind us and we exchanged knitterly pleasantries to the amusement of some of my party. She was knitting a scarf of burgundy coloured boucle yarn on sparkly plastic needles. It probably wasn’t the first Smiggins SnB, but it was the only one that day.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Seven Things Week 46

Stuff of Dad's seems to be creeping into my house. Mum is clearing some things, but only the cluttery bits (2 cartons of scrap paper and old envelopes anyone?) - none of us is ready for the other kind of clearing yet. But in the last little while I've been bringing the odd thing home. The hat I made him for his Trans Siberian Railway trip so I could wear to the snow last week, an overnight bag I use each weekend and a pair of new socks to wear under my snow boots.

In the course of moving things around, though, I found a suitcase full of manchester I thought I'd already dealt with well before this challenge was begun. I bought all of it for my "glory box" about a million years ago. Bit of a problem working in the manchester department of David Jones'. I remember buying all of it and the fantasies each played a part in. I was going to have a sunny yellow kitchen, a tasteful bathroom in grey, rose pink and maroon, and crisp white table linen with black and grey silk napkins. Ah, the 80s. Anyway, I've salvaged some of it and rehomed others. I glimpse the beginning of the stuff problem - I loved all of these things so much that I never used them, because if I had, the fantasy would be gone.

IN (6)

1 overnight bag - DAD's
1 beanie - DAD's
1 pair of socks - DAD's
1 calico shopping bag - CONFERENCE GIFT
2 vests - OP SHOP ($1 each. 1 for wearing and a black handknitted one for unravelling)

OUT (50)
4 lipsticks - BIN
1 key ring - BIN
10 face washers - GIFTS & DONATIONS
12 napkins - GIFTS & DONATIONS
4 doylies - GIFTS & DONATIONS
8 napkin rings - GIFTS & DONATIONS
4 egg cups - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 bedspread - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 prs undies - BIN

SIAA (5)
1 Mrs Claus costume including 164" trim knitted in that hideous eyelash yarn, AND removing double sewn lace from the petticoat, taking it up 4" and resewing the lace. Remind me again how wonderful it is to DIY.

IN 6
OUT 50

Friday, July 18, 2008


Finally something off the needles - even if it's only some beanies for the soup kitchen.

TTWC 2008.054 vintage Jet

This is vintage Patons Jet - the old crepe kind. Despite the murky early 70s colours (it's dun-brown with dull green bits of ... what? not contrast and I hesitate to say highlights - dunno, bits will have to do). The yarn is a delight to knit with. Divine crepe producing the smoothest, evenest fabric. So love it.

TTWC 2008.055-56 hanspun wool

There were two of these TTWCs knitted in the car to Perisher and back on Sunday. The first was borrowed in the car park at Smiggins Holes by one of our party and retained. It's such a joy when someone likes an item enough to keep it - made my day. This is handspun wool in its natural colour. Mostly creamy white with some darker bits. So beautiful to knit with and very warm. Must make a drop off run to Stasia's soon.

There was another TTWC in the handspun but no photo. It looks just like these if you really need to see it.

And speaking of snow, the other item off the needles this week and finished is the 164 inches of ostrich yarn trim for my Mrs Claus outfit. I have to say it turned out quite well and is probably the only legitimate use for this hideous yarn. I used a little under 14 balls of Moda Vera Jazz held double throughout to make 5 pieces of trim. It's all sewn on the dress and the hat has a tassel. There was a pom pom but it collapsed and shed all over my dining table. NOT a pretty sight.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Seven Things Week 45

I'm just not knitting as much as I used to. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that there's less time to do it. There will be some catching up on Sunday when I spend the whole day "apres" skiing while the OF leads a tour. There will be snowy scenery, a warm fire, hot chocolate, a good book and much knitting. Bliss.

IN (17)
14 vintage knitting patterns courtesy of Kate who turned up with a fruit box full - great fun to sift through.
1 book - GIFT (forgot this from 3 weeks ago - just found it in a project bag, oops)
1 pr snow pants - had to buy new. No one gets rid of old large sized ski pants apparently
1 waterproof jacket - ditto

OUT (28)
2 coin purses
2 sets soaps - GIFTS & DONATIONS
19 lanyards. Another "gunna" craft project down the reality tubes. - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 balloon whisk - rusted - BIN
1 blender - broken - BIN
1 basket - mouldy - BIN


IN 17
OUT 28

Monday, July 07, 2008

The honesty's too much

There are stages of intimacy in all relationships, right? There are points at which one takes a risk and reveals something more intimate than before - something really private, personal and important - something upon which the direction of the relationship might depend.

We reached one of those points this morning.

Old Flame saw the extent of my stash! He paled a little but took it well.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Seven Things Week 44

It was a bad week for hosiery Chez Taph, culminating in a freezing and frantic Thursday morning when I discovered there were no more black opaque tights in the drawer. Quel catastrophe! Luckily my stash of new tights is still quite large and a pair was quickly decanted, rinsed and ready for wear the next day. There is definitely an argument for having stocks of basics bought cheaply. Same goes for undies, basic black t-shirts and shoe laces.

IN (0)
See that - 0. I haven't done 0 before. It's fantastic!

OUT (10)

5 prs stockings/pantyhose - BIN.
2 sets measuring spoons - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 tea strainer - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 jumper - GIFTS & DONATIONS

SIAA (0)
Nothing finished, darn it, but I'm oh so close to finishing the bloody eyelash trim.

IN 0
OUT 10


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

You would even say it glows

The Blue Beret got its first outing last night and very welcome it was too.

It was cold, wet & windy last night. The maximum daytime temperature was 12 degrees and it was considerably less than that and blowy and pissing down with rain by 4.30pm when we rocked up to Canberra Stadium to sell red noses.

The aim was to sell 10,000 noses and raise $20,000 for SIDS and Kids and in the process set the world record for the most red noses in one spot.

Due to the effin awful inclement weather, the attendance at the match was less than stellar; only 9,109 to be exact. Thirty volunteers sold 5433 noses and raised more than $10,500 and probably set a world record. I think we'll call it a success.

Oh, and the Raiders lost to the Sharks 24 to 36. The umpiring was pretty bloody awful, but they were outclassed by the Sharks early on and never really got back. Pity really, and because OF's parents decided not to go to the match we had their BRILLIANT members' seats for the second half. See that, right on the 50m line (centre of the pitch), 3 rows back. I could even see Ricky Stuart's bald patch really well through the sleet. Did I mention it was cold?