Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pump up the volume

Rising to the challenge of my conscience, behold the bulky beanies of the week.

Count 'em - 7.

Actually it's 9 beanies, but only 7 from the bulky stuff; a couple of TTWCs sneaked in as well because the bulky stuff isn't portable for waiting in queues for petrol, queues for Medicare, queues at the chemist (I've had a frustrating week).

Of course now that's done, will I have to repeat it?

I've done the sums and it's 6 a week to finish this yarn off before the end of December. Difficult, but doable - except for the crippling pain. The bulky yarn on big needles has caused excruciating neck and shoulder pain. I took the weekend off the big stuff and did only a heel of a sock and a few rounds of a 12 ply beanie. No pain.

Bugger. I'll have to slow down on the big stuff.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Seven things week 52

My brother and I recently discussed what furniture we would save from our houses in a disaster or would fight a spouse for in a split. Not that he is anticipating a split from his beloved wife, but we needed some drastic parameters.

Apart from the usual photos, family papers etc, for me what it came down to was this -

  • the matching wing-back and companion chair I purchased at Salvos Fyshwick in 1992 which were reupholstered by my parents as a house-warming gift when I bought my first flat in 1994

  • Great-Grandfather Cameron's chest of drawers

  • Great-Grandfather Buchanan's sideboard

  • the lovely bed a dear friend made when I bought this house

Now it could just be that I don't form attachments to things but you and I both know that is not true at all - if I had to choose, though, that would be it (and I could sacrifice the bed if I had to).

Then a more dangerous question came to mind - why am I keeping the other things?

Well some things need to be kept because they are useful. The dining table and chairs (which really should be replaced), the sofa (also should be replaced), the spare bed, bedside tables, bookcases etc. - even though I wouldn't die in a ditch over them, they are handy, they just don't have much meaning beyond that and I do like things to have meaning. But some of the mis-matched and downright ugly book cases? The various and varied cupboards and chests of drawers? The assorted chairs? How much do they add to the enjoyment of my home?

So I did a bit of a stocktake and created a plan of action. Ther is now a furniture disposal schedule which will see quite a few items disappear from this house and my life, and, in the case of the bookcases, some of the contents as well. I hope to raise enough from the sale of some items to finance the purchase of new ones, but generally don't intend replacing what is leaving. The plan is for an item of furniture out, or possibly repurposed, every month or so for the next six to twelve months.

IN (3)
1 knitting machine - LONG STORY
1 knitting magazine - SUBSCRIPTION
1 jacket - GIFT

OUT (64)

3 prs pyjamas - RAG BAG
1 jacket - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 jewellry box - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 large bag kitty litter - GIFTS & DONATIONS
5 prs shorts - GIFTS & DONATIONS
4 prs pants - GIFTS & DONATIONS
14 t-shirts - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 laundry basket - BIN
10 balls yarn - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pr earrings - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 knitting patterns - GIFTS & DONATIONS
12 books - BOOK CROSSING
1 tin of sewing stuff - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 watches - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 nighties - RAG BAG

SIAA (9)
9 beanies

IN 3
OUT 64

Friday, August 29, 2008


Nanna turns 90 today. Happy birthday Nan.

She's already told us that no-one at the nursing home is to know she is 90 - she will admit to 84 at most.

What should be a happy day is also a sad one. Today we bury her youngest brother.

Long time readers might remember Uncle Jack and the story of his Fair Isle cardie.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Think global, knit local

This was such great yarn to knit with. A sproingy 12ply weight, 2ply yarn with just a little bit of vegetable matter left in. The ball band describes it as "a natural, undyed fleece product from coloured sheep growers of Canberra/Monaro."

I can't remember which local op-shop it came from but it's local yarn, bought locally (twice) and going to a local charity (twice). Who says it isn't easy being green?

Monday, August 25, 2008

The voices told me to

Sunday night conversation at Taph Towers.

CONSCIENCE: Hmm, so how's that challenge to knit all the bulky yarn by Christmas going, Taph?

TAPH: Well, Conscience, I had a bit of a break last week while I finished off a scarf for a charity sale, a pair of socks for my poor old Mum with the bad circulation who lives in a cold climate and a pair of baby socks which I swapped for a dozen duck eggs. I also started and nearly finished a pair of socks for the Old Flame.

CONSCIENCE: That's an impressive list of finished objects, Taph - bet that gave you a bit of a boost. But in terms of total boodle busting that's 300g of yarn, 200g of which are pretty fine weights. Not much in the volume reduction, is it?

TAPH: Yes, I did feel good finishing things off but you're right, I did set myself that challenge and I'd like to see it through. So here you go, two completed hats from the bulky yarn and the plan is to make one a day this week. The Old Flame loaned me season one of Dead Like Me and season one of Dexter - perhaps I won't go completely insane if I knit while watching those.

CONSCIENCE: Good plan, Taph. Let's chat again next Sunday night.

Beanies 2008.080 and 2008.081

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Seven Things Week 51

IN (3)
1 shirt ( brand new $7 Salvos)
1 textiles magazine (subscription)
1 ball sock yarn (gift)

OUT (92)
15 beanies - GIFTS & DONATIONS
7 scarves - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 doona cover - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pillow case - GIFTS & DONATIONS
22 placemats - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 bunch paper flowers - RECYCLING
1 lace curtain - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 completed tapestry - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 cushion covers - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 santa hat - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 cardigans - GIFTS & DONATIONS
12 balls yarn - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 prs socks - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pr trousers - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 ponchos - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 washing basket - BIN
1 day pack - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 leather tote - GIFTS & DONATIONS

SIAA (7)
1 scarf
2 prs socks
4 project bags

IN 3
OUT 92

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How to knit a winner

Kinneared at the Canberra Racecourse 8 August 2008.
The Old Flame had a work function at Thoroughbred Park and brought this home for me. Isn't he sweet? Some girls get flowers, I get pictures of knitters. Definitely prefer the knitters. This knitter is making long strips to sew into a blanket. She said it was so cold that day, though, that she might have to wear it as a scarf.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Completely tickled to see this particular company's van outside Vinnies Belconnen on Friday.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Seven Things Week 50

Bloody hell, 50 weeks. Seriously never thought I'd still be going at this point and for those of you heartily sick of seven things (that would be me, too), I don't think the end is in sight yet. I'll be going through September at least, when The Shopping Sherpa will be joining up again.

Why? Because I really do still need this accountability. It doesn't matter if anyone else reads it and it matters even less what anyone else thinks, but it does matter that I hold myself accountable.

IN (10)
1 skirt - VINNIES ($1 for a lined straight black skirt that fits - huh!)
2 tops - VINNIES ($5.50 each)
6 vintage knitting patterns - SALVOS (25c each)
1 mug - GIFT

OUT (45)
4 shirts - GIFTS & DONATIONS
24 balls yarn - GIFTS & DONATIONS

SIAA (6)
IN 10
OUT 45


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

There's a lot of good engineering in a pair of gentlemen's socks

The title is a quotation from Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day a lovely film enjoyed this evening at ANU Film Group. I met TSS as arranged and also ran into the blogless WithaQ who was knitting a lovely Annie Modesitt design.

We were chatting and knitting before the film started when TSS spied a gorgeous sock on a woman in front of us. As we'd just been discussing the etiquette of fondling hand-knits on complete strangers, TSS leaned forward and asked if the sock in question was, indeed, handknitted.

It was and the wearer declared that they were so lovely to wear it was enough to make her want to learn to knit. Now THAT'S a good review.

And the socks. Well as the cherry on the cake, they were a gift knitted by a well-known local blogger. Congrats Bells.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Two with one blow

What does a snow widow do on a cold Sunday?

A little light weeding about 8am (cold, but not too cold then), hangs out two loads of washing, went to the local farmers' market for veg shop (that's when it started snowing), and headed for Mum's house where there was coffee and fresh onion bagels with cream cheese for breakfast, central heating and knitting.

I finished the first of Mum's next pair of socks but instead of casting on the next one, made an infant sized sock (pattern by Mim Felton) from the leftovers. It was a bit hairy at the end - I finished the baby sock with 2m to spare. That whole knit-faster-so-you-don't-run-out-of-wool technique totally worked this time.

Mum finished a scarf for a friend and we had the company of various nieces and nephew, brother and SIL and very old family friends throughout the day.

And I kidnapped Rosie because Saturday and Sunday nights were definitely two dog nights . Actually they were probably three dog nights but Lochie is terrible to have on the bed, so I made do with Peggy, Rosie and a couple of heat packs.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hats, boodle etc

So I'm still going with the hats.

One of the things that has become VERY obvious in the last almost year of "seven things" is that the yarn boodle is large, out of control and has a will of its own. Every attempt to actually cull it has resulted in at least a parity return of yarn within a couple of weeks. Given its amazing ability to regenerate (did anyone see Dr Who last night?), I've decided that the boodle doesn't really want to be given away or sold, it wants to be knitted.

Starting with the bulky stuff that takes up so much space, knit-down has begun.

6 balls of Twilley Freedom Wool became 6 beanies. The first pic is a Norah Gaughan pattern "Match Made in Heaven" from Family Circle Easy Accessories, the others are my Double Rib Beanie.

And the yarn cheese is next in the sights. Remember when I bought 49 x 8oz (215g) balls of super bulky yarn at the Smith Family? Well it was a while ago, and it was the yarn that necessitated the Double Rib pattern. I'm now working on a variation or two to keep me from becoming catatonic with boredom. The goal is to knit this entire collection up by Christmas.

Not completely there with the cabled version yet - I'll give it another go tonight.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Seven Things Week 49

In which the clothes get it. The spontaneous purchase of a rather lovely and new! cardigan and the gift of undies from my mother sent me to the cupboards again this week. Apparently I do still have too many clothes that I don't wear, don't like or which don't fit.

IN (3)

2 prs undies
1 cardigan

OUT (17)
5 cardies - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 tank top - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 skivvies - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 beanie - - GIFTS & DONATIONS
3 prs trousers - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pr socks - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 prs undies - BIN

SIAA (8)
6 beanies
1 pr socks
1 scarf

IN 3
OUT 17

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Good knit week

TSS, J, the Old Flame and I took in Lars and the Real Girl at ANU Film Group. It was an odd, sweet film which we all enjoyed. For TSS and I, the bonus was the knitwear. The opening shot shows Lars draped in a what appeared to be a baby blue lacey scarf. It turns out not to be a scarf, but a baby blanket knitted by his mother. He wears it constantly. Plenty of hand knits and cr***et and one scene where three women sit with Lars - one does needlework, one cr***ets and one knits. Am seriously considering trying to replicate the blanket pattern - it was very sweet.

Discover that Miss Muffin the ferret (one of two that live with the Old Flame), not only steals his socks and hides them, but has developed a taste for my hand-knitted socks. My Stanbridge socks were discovered in her lair. We have had words and I've agreed to not leave my socks within her reach.

Called in to visit the Old Flame's parents on Saturday and saw progress on his Dad's winter jumper. His Mum is about to start the last piece; it will be ready before Spring. It's a gorgeous cabled jumper in Bendigo Classic 8ply, Cranberry.

Heirloom Jigsaw 4ply - basic sock pattern

Finished the second of Mum's "whinger" socks just before the Wallabies got flogged by the All Blacks on Saturday night.

Took several goes to cast on another sock in Patonyle after attending a rather fine Cabernet Sauvignon wine tasting on Sunday.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Seven Things Week 48

IN (1)
1 pr gloves

OUT (18)

SIAA (6)

IN 1
OUT 18