Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And gallant Sir Robert, deep-read in old wines

Ah, a weekend when our only responsibilities were the fur children - frankly much easier to tend than our human dependents and we can lock them outside when they get really annoying.

It was pretty cruisy. No knitting, but we did manage a trip to the Lifeline Bookfair (the Old Flame, although a keen reader and bargain hunter, was a Bookfair virgin), where I bought very, very little - four vintage patterns for the collection and three knitting books.

James Norbury's Traditional Knitting Patterns: from Scandinavia, the British Isles, France, Italy and Other European Countries - fantastic stitch dictionary. Too good to leave behind at $4.
I tried to resist This Woolcraft one but it was $3 and I was powerless against the siren call of the Alice Starmore's "Marina". There's other interesting patterns too - a Kaffe Fasset tapestry design and some Debbie Bliss deliciousness among others. See - gorgeous - had to have that chubby little baby!

I love the vibe at the Bookfair craft book tables. It's never cut-throat as I'm informed the Sci-Fi/Fantasy tables are. Like craft communities everywhere, there is generosity, good humour and helpfulness. This time there was a quilter, an embroiderer, a crocheter and a couple of knitters - we happily passed each other books - making recommendations, laughing at the eighties knits and generally having as good a time as you can without needles.

There was also a little cleaning out up at Mum's. A year of the Seven Things Challenge is good preparation for the sad task of clearing out Dad's stuff. It's still not easy, but I'm having no way near the hideous time my brother is. He'd like to keep our childhood home as a museum. With everyone's permission, we tackled a small portion of Under The House.

Dad had dug out Under The House, concreted it and put in electric light and power outlets. It became his workshop and family storage space. It is the size of half a decent sized three bedroom home and it's absolutely chokka. Dad rarely disposed of anything but at least he was pretty neat. OF and I dealt with the wine (my brother doesn't drink) and some of the toys, games, luggage and obvious "outs" such as the plastic meat trays, ice cream and yoghurt containers kept for seed propagation. I also reclaimed my drill bit set that Dad confiscated because they "were too good for a woman".

Here's the wine that (a) won't fit in my wine cupboard and (b) is probably a bit previous now and we'll be lucky to get 1 in 4 bottles worth drinking. Cheers, Dad.

I'm researching how to make red wine vinegar - does anyone have a gallon jug with a spigot and/or some vinegar mother?

Monday, September 29, 2008

I canna say but ye strunt rarely, owre gauze and lace

Lace - still don't love it. I can do it, I comprehend it, people I love and admire go crazy for it, it's just - I don't feel it.

Lace does not fill me with the joy and satisfaction that a good Aran pattern does.

I am prepared for eviction from the blogdom.

This pattern is Liesel by Mary Joy Gumayagay . I call it the Red Tape scarf because it is a tape yarn the exact colour as the red tape I still find tying up files in some archival collections. The yarn, South West Trading Company Oasis Solid soy silk, was a charitable donation. It was knitted in response to a request for items for a breast cancer charity exhibition and sale but got side-tracked and didn't get it to my bespoke blocker quickly enough.

It's pretty and looks lovely on the freshly blossoming crab apple. I'll hang on to it for the next charitable request/raffle prize etc.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Your darkest terrors may be vain, Your brightest hopes may fail

Abby by Amy Singer from the latest Knitty in vintage Villawool Suriaplagas - 80% alpaca, 20% nylon - as soft and light and warm as down.

I winged it with this one. There's been trouble with cowls trying to strangle me before, as what little neck I have is well padded so I wanted the finished item to be shorter than the 16" of the pattern and greater in circumference. Having only one ball of yarn which was a bit thicker than the laceweight recommended, I chose a 4.5mm needle instead of a 4mm.

Checking for gauge didn't worry me. This was such a quickie it was as easy to knit it as to trouble with a tension square and there wasn't yarn enough to spare anyway.

I underestimated the thickness of the yarn and overestimated the thickness of my neck. The dratted thing swims and it hasn't even blocked it yet. And no, it can't be unravelled and reknitted because the brushed alpaca sticks like the proverbial to a blanket.

Ah well, can't win 'em all and it's still warm and softer than a baby's bum.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Seven Things Week 56

Back on track. Well, sort of. This week was helped by the fact I couldn't and can't get to the Lifeline Bookfair. Another Holy Day of Obligation on the bargain shopper's calendar, I couldn't go due to staffing shortages at work.

IN (6)
3 balls Cleckheaton Studio Mohair - Vinnies $4
1 bag fibre from the gorgeous Mandie - fibre club
1 set stitch markers, ditto
1 magazine - subscription

OUT (57)
20 vintage knitting patterns - destashed via Rav and the blog
4 Tupperware containers -GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 ball sock yarn - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pr socks - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 cordless drill -GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 bolt fabric - GIFTS & DONATIONS
6 magazines - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pr trousers - GIFTS & DONATIONS
3 coathangers - RECYCLING
1 cushion - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 clothes horses - BIN

1 pr socks
1 cowlette

IN 6
OUT 57

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And stockings and pumps to put on my stumps

Socks for the Old Flame which I am calling Snow Gum.

Opal 6ply donated by the Happy Spider, knitted on 3.25mm Knit Picks dpns (also a gift from Spidey as it happens - I'm converted to these needles, btw, they do make the knitting quicker and lighter).

Basic 56 stitch recipe but with foot done over 60 stitches. The heel is slip stitched on the purl row, slipping the same stitch each time. I rather like the effect.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Seven Things Week 55

IN (2)
1 pr waterproof trousers for next ski season $5 -Vinnies.
1 knitting pattern $1 -Salvos.

OUT (7)

nothing finished this week

IN 2

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

But when, alas! he multiplies himself

It has come to this, a vintage knitting pattern destash.

Check out my flickr set for what's available. Vintage pattern books are$4, $2 or $1 each plus postage. There are also 3 issues of Spin-Off which are $5 each.

All patterns sold as is. These are vintage patterns. There are signs of use. Some have been hole punched.

If you see something you want, please email me with the name of the image, eg. Patons 123, and your address so I can check what postage will be. Generally, a single pattern within Australia will be $1.10 but if you want more than one pattern, that will change.

Direct credit into my nominated bank account only.

peggysmum AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Seven Things Week 54

These are the weeks that happen to collectors. Salvos stores in Wagga Wagga and Canberra gave up knitting patterns that fitted the collection development plan and generous people gave me yarn.

IN (49)
33 vintage knitting patterns - Salvos Wagga Wagga and Mitchell
12 balls wool - gift
1 pyrex dish - Salvos Mitchell
1 Tupperware container - Salvos Mitchell
2 prs trackie daks - gift

OUT (43)
2 dresses - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 prs trousers - GIFTS & DONATIONS
4 blouses - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 bras - BIN
2 pairs boots - GIFTS & DONATIONS
4 prs jeans - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 rubbish bin - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pyrex dish - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 basket - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pkt bias binding - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 pieces fabric - GIFTS & DONATIONS

1 Time Thief Watch Cap - pathetic, I know.


IN 49
OUT 43

Thursday, September 11, 2008

(No) Knitting on the Road

The forward momentum in my body has finally ceased, I'm caught up with the washing and the ironing and the house is almost liveable again.

From Thursday night until late Sunday night there was a lot of travelling (I lost count of how many times I drove the GDE but despite good intentions and excellent preparation, circumstances conspired for there to be very little knitting.

Thursday night 60k round trip to drop things off, see friends and buy stuff for Friday.

Friday drove to Wagga Wagga, that fabulous inland city, to collect Mum who'd been in Leeton for a week with her sister. Aunty Marj had business to do in Wagga so instead of a 10 hour round trip to get Mum, it was only 6 hours. No trip to Wagga is complete without a tour of the shops d'op and lunch with Kate. Had a lovely couple of hours with Kate and the charming Tilly (cannot believe she's already a year old). Much knitterly chat, a very yummy lunch (thanks Kate) and a couple of rounds of a sock and it was off to collect Mum. Our designated meeting place, St V de P in Peter Street. There was nothing to buy at Vinnies because Kate had already bagged 15 balls of Cleckheaton 5ply for $8 that morning. It's at my house now awaiting a custom over-dye by Spidey, because not many of us can wear lemon. I'd already bought 18 vintage knitting patterns at the Salvos. Not enough time to visit Faye's new shop, unfortunately, despite the pull of the Jo Sharp motherload that is there.
KNITTING: maybe 4 rounds of a 6ply sock (224 stitches)

Back to Canberra Friday night with just enough time to drop and settle Mum and race over the other side of town to collect the Old Flame, drop stuff off 3/4 the way back to my place and then to the pictures, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at ANU Film Group - loved it, completely OTT, favourite quotation (John Hurt as Prof. Oxley): "How much of human life is lost in waiting?"

Saturday was a long sleep-in, light op-shopping (more vintage patterns and some Tupperware), groceries, ferrying people about and preparing for Sunday.
KNITTING: Cast on 2 TTWCs and knitted 12 rounds in double rib (1232 stitches)

Sunday - rose at 3am, shower, dress, load car, buy fabulous egg and bacon rolls at the G-Spot food caravan in Gungahlin and board bus for 4.15am departure for the snow. Eat egg and bacon roll (known as a Complete Bastard if you want to order one), snuggle up to the Old Flame, sleep until Jindabyne.

Arrive Bullocks Flat, decant self and gear for the day, catch Skitube to Perisher. Help set up finishing line for Kosciusko Tour , cook second breakfast
(that's porridge with fresh chopped strawberries and toasted coconut cooked over a spirit stove) looking at this view.

Absolutely fabulous day. The first racer came in under 56 minutes, the last took about 3 hours. Weather was perfect. Sunny, not much wind and the threatening storm held off until much later in the day. Didn't even need to wear my gloves, which was good, because I was taking photographs of the racers as they crossed the finish line.

Skitube to Blue Cow for the presentations and a very late lunch. This was really the only chance to knit of the day - pity I'd left the knitting on the bus at Bullock's Flat.

Skitube back to Bullocks Flat, back on the bus, snuggle up to the Old Flame, sleep from Jindabyne to Canberra.

Unpack car, reload my car, home by 9.30. Explode contents of bags over living room and realise I've left current socks in progress on dresser at OF's.

Who'd have thought a long weekend of virtually no knitting could be so enjoyable!

TOTAL KNITTING 1456 stitches

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Up for grabs are two x 2-for-one movie deals for the Dendy in Canberra.

Welcome to the Sticks valid from 4/09 until then end of the run
and Caramel valid from 25/09 until end of run
Please email me with your choice of film if you want one of these.
Peggysmum AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Conversation with the Old Flame a few weeks ago-

OF (removing his elastic-sided boots): I'm going to have to get rid of these boots.

TAPH: Really? Why?

OF: They've stretched and are a bit too loose.

TAPH: Can't you take them into RM Williams' and have them fixed?

OF: I could ... or ...


OF (smiling winsomely): Or I could wear thicker socks.

TAPH: Ahh (realisation dawns). Well there goes the 5ply stash.

Simple Socks by Sarah Golder, Yarn issue 5, Jan. 2007 in recycled 5ply crepe, knitted on 2.75mm dpns.

*Perspex - twice as thick (socks & me) and just as see-through (old joke)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Seven Things Week 53

Not so good this week, but not as bad as it would once have been. Would have made it but time defeated me when it came to getting rid of some books.

IN (32)
1 new summer top - SALVOS
2 Tupperware containers - YMCA GARAGE SALE
1 Pyrex casserole - YMCA GARAGE SALE
1 cone 5ply crepe - YMCA GARAGE SALE
1 bag spinning fibre (110g) - YMCA GARAGE SALE
11 vintage Patons & Villawool patterns - YMCA GARAGE SALE
1 reel knitting-in elastic - YMCA GARAGE SALE
1 knitting mag - SUBSCRIPTION
2 Tupperware containers - AUSSIE JUNK
(total spend $22)

OUT (23)
1 decorative tin - GIFTS & DONATIONS
18 vintage & other knitting patterns - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 mug - BROKEN

SIAA (2)
1 pr socks

IN 32
OUT 23