Saturday, December 27, 2008

Seven Things Week 69

It's amnesty week here at Taph Towers.

I'm tired, I'm over it and it's Christmas week. And there may have been an accident involving Lincraft and bargain Australian Country Spinners $5 yarn packs.

Seven Things will return in the New Year.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Control or How I Plan to Do More in the Time Available Without Actually Cloning

A little while ago I spreadsheeted (not really a word) the birthday knitting for next year to try and keep me focussed (stop laughing). Then I realised that all my craftiness needs to be time-managed so to try and shoehorn a bit more in, I have added sewing projects as well.


My column headings are
  • :date due:
  • :craft type:
  • :portability: (because time at home and awake and able to concentrate on craft = about an hour a day but I can usually squeeze another hour or two in by having portable projects with me at all times)
  • :recipient:
  • :item:
  • :materials (what to use and if I had to acquire anything else):
  • :date to be given:
  • :notes: (I find it useful to record if I need to blog the project and on which blog - helps me remember to take photos etc)


In the madness of the days before Christmas I needed to feel in control of something so I invested 3 hours uploading (newly acquired) boodle to Ravelry, searching for and queuing patterns, annotating both the queue and the stash record with the pattern info and printing out the patterns. Another few hours here and there were invested in gathering together yarn, pattern, needles and notions and popping them all into project bags (this is where having waaaaay too many needles etc. comes in really handy). I attached a tag to each project bag with a sample of yarn. The tag lists pattern information, due date etc. and contents of bag. Bags were then divided into portable and home projects with some of the portables stashed in a box in the boot of my car. On the sewing list is extra project bags!


Fabric and notions stored with pattern (or at least the scrap of paper with my idea sketched on) and either put in a bag with a label, or pinned to the garment with a label with details of date due, notions and work needed. If I haven't finished something, or it's something I can do in stages, I leave a note of where I'm up to. Trust me, you can sew on several buttons between putting dinner on and turing the chops.

I'll let you know how it all works, but at least I feel organised and potentially super-productive.

Do you have a favourite craft organisation or time-management tip?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Seven Things Week 68

IN (16)
1 pr socks - gift
1 set stitchmarkers - gift
2 lots of smellies - gifts
1 Tupperware container - Salvos
2 sets knitting needles - Vinnies/Salvos
3 vintage knitting patterns - Aussie Junk
1 set car mats - gift
4 balls wool - Vinnies
1 ball winder - Aussie Junk
2 biscuit cutters - retail

OUT (33)
1 set car mats - bin
2 plastic containers - bin
7 assorted bottles & jars - recycling
2 posters - recycling
1 pr sunglasses - bin
9 swimwear pieces - gifts & donations
4 prs shorts
5 singlet tops
1 blouse

SIAA (0)
not a solitary thing finished but I'm still on track with next year's birthday gifts.

IN 16
OUT 33

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New kid on the blog

My Old Flame has started his own blog called The Old Flame and is contributing to I Op Therefore I am ACT.

Warning - may contain explicit bloke content.

And for those of you who read the Christmas present post, he assures me that it's BUYING socks that's the no-no - "hand knitted socks are completely different" (which is a relief for next year).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Funny ha-ha or funny in my head?

I passed a couple of Fitness First employees handing out membership flyers etc. yesterday.

The bloke turned to his female companion and whined "I hope we sit down soon, my legs are sore."

I was tempted to demand he drop and give me five for such a complaint (why yes, I have done boot camp).

Funny ha-ha or just funny in my head.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Seven Things Week 67

IN (10)
1 set glasses (Vinnies & Salvos yielded a set of the tasting glasses from the Murrumbatemen Moveable Feast to add to our collection)
1 pr Halex knitting needles ($2 Vinnies)
1 hand winding mobile 'phone charger ($5 garage sale)
2 shirts - fabric and sewing a gift from Mum, buttons and finishing my own
1 shirt - Salvos
2 knitting magazines
2 Tupperware containers

OUT (36)
1 polar fleece jacket - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 set wine charms (another set) - GIFTS & DONATIONS
12 buttons (on two shirts) - SIAA
1 hand towel - GIFTS & DONATIONS
20 clamps - GIFTS & DONATIONS

SIAA (3)
1 camera cosy
1 beret
1 scarf

IN 10
OUT 36


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Camera Cosy

The digital camera accompanies me most days - you just never know when you'll need to chronicle the day with an image. Although there is a good case that came with the camera, it's too bulky in the handbag. Most of the time the camera gets chucked in unprotected.

Now I have this. It's based on the 'phone sock made in February and the method of working it out was really scientific. I compared the camera to the phone. The camera is roughly one third larger than the phone. For the phone sock, I used a 5ply wool on 3.75mm needles over 32 stitches. 1/3 of 32 is almost 11. 32 + 11 is 43, but need multiples of for for double rib, so the magic cast on number was 44. I grabbed some 5ply crepe (vintage Patons Treasure - 60% wool, 40% nylon) and knitted in double rib for 46 rows (measuring against the camera as I went) and magicked a three-needle cast off.

The result was a not brilliant. The yarn was a little thinner than that used in the phone sock so tension was a bit loose, the sock was both a bit wide and a bit long. The camera did not fit snugly.
As it took less than 2 hours to knit, I cast on another one on 3.25mm needles over 40 stitches and 40 rows and 2 hours later I'm much happier with the result.

For the record, the camera - an Olympus something or other, is 10cm long x 6cm wide x 2.8cm deep. The sock is 11.5 cm long and 4.5cm wide.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Seven Things Week 66

Looking around this week there are really only two big lots of clutter in the house left to attend to. Books and knitting stuff.

Books will be interesting. I am still going through Dad's library, so I suspect that I'll be BookCrossing my own collection and ingesting his at the same time. The aim is for no nett gain and perhaps a little nett loss with that one.

The uncluttering sites and books are not at all helpful here. They are invariably written by heartless wretches and nowhere can I see discussion about how significant objects actually are. No, they are not people. It's my Dad's book, not my Dad. But Dad valued these objects and some of them have a great deal of significance for a lot of reasons. One thing I have found during 66 weeks of 7-things is that it is immensely important to acknowledge the significance of things in one's life and that you must be truly ready to let it go or regret will gnaw away at you.

So I do what I've done with 7-things. I do the easy stuff first.

Ephemera, journals and duplicates all go first. I find loving homes wherever possible, knowing that the material will be respected. At last resort is the Lifeline box.

Next I tackle the subjects that have little meaning for me or other members of the family. Again, donation to people who do see meaning and value in the topic is the preferred method of disposal. I am stymied sometimes by members of the family who are emotionally unable to accept even the books that they want. At the moment I'm indulging their feelings but Mum's patience is wearing thin and she wants the room for other things. It's tempting to box and wrap them and put them under the Christmas tree.

Yarn is a bit difficult. The Old Flame and I were discussing our respective stashes (my knitting/spinning stuff and his skiing stuff) recently and agreed that mine's a little different because I'm stashing snow as well as skis. It's summer now, time for a thaw. Perhaps when the weather gets a little warmer.

IN (10)
1 mp3 player -$10 for a new 2g mp3 player
1 set videos - gift
1 top - $5 Salvos
1 skirt - $12.50 Vinnies (a leetle pricey, but it's lovely and will be my birthday outfit for this year)
1 sofa - gift
2 prs socks - new
2 polar fleece jackets - they were Dad's but they are good quality and they fit so I'm hanging on to them.
1 vase - Secret Santa gift

OUT (77)
1 butter dish - GIFTS & DONATIONS
11 books - GIFTS & DONATIONS
5 bags beading bits - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 bag yarn - GIFTS & DONATIONS
8 sets knitting needles - GIFTS & DONATIONS
3 plastic containers - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 knitting patterns - gifts & donations - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 bathroom accessories - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 bag hair accessories - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 soft toy - GIFTS & DONATIONS
5 pieces of fabric - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 drink bottle - RECYCLING
7 storage jars - GIFTS & DONATIONS
4 prs trousers - GIFTS & DONATIONS
3 doylies - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 tallboy - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 mirror set - GIFTS & DONATIONS
4 clothes hangers - RECYCLING
2 picture frames - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pr boots - BIN
4 sets spectacles - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pr socks - BIN
1 set wine charms - GIFTS & DONATIONS

SIAA (2)
1 neck warmer
1 proto-type camera cosy

in 10
out 77
nett out 67

Friday, December 05, 2008

Industrial action

I'm as addicted to wool and yarn as I used to be to nicotine.

The two things are not unrelated. Knitting helped me give up smoking. Certainly one is much healthier than the other and the social benefits of, say, the charity hats, far greater than chucking cigarette butts on the ground. Economically, I'm sure cigarette sales exceed yarn sales but wouldn't it be fabulous if the opposite were true?

It is then, surely, reasonable to have the odd break during the day to feed my addiction in the same way the smokers in the workplace take time out for a smoke.

I wonder if I can get it into our next workplace agreement?

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Long ago I decided that knitting Christmas gifts was not going to happen.

1. Bad time of year for anything except washcloths (although I did that for the volunteers at work a few years ago)
2. Too many to knit for with a single deadline.
3. Christmas gifts are, to me, generally less personal than birthday gifts.

So I go the commercial route for Christmas and the hand-made for birthdays.

In an idle moment* last week I compiled a list of who would be getting knitted love next year for their birthdays, when their birthdays were, an idea of what I thought I'd make them and what was in stash to support it. Eeeep! January-April there are 8 birthdays with 13 knitted pieces planned. May-Dec, 3 birthdays with 5 knitted pieces planned. Quick revision of number of pieces reduced the Jan-April figure to 11 knitted pieces, but half the birthdays and 6 knitted pieces fall within 8 days in April!. Knitting is now timetabled until then end of July. There is not much room for slippage until the 27th of April (and I'm behind this week already) and there's at least 3 other projects due by the end of January.

In play, also, are developing pattern ideas, two exhibition pieces, incidental gifts, probable special requests and/or commissions, market stall items, baby stuff, projects for me or for fun and charity creations.

Lucky I enjoy knitting, huh?

* ok, I was in a meeting and in need of diversion. If I can't knit, I can at least think about knitting

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

More scarves

Playing a little bit of catch up on the FOs. These scarves were finished months ago, but the photography never happened.

Scrap-busting side-to-side scarves for the gift basket - these will probably go to the nieces for their birthday in February.

Blue Monday - variety of yarns, some held in multiple strands over 120 stitches on 8mm needles with a self fringe.

Ruby Tuesday - variety of yarns, some held double or quadruple over 130 stitches on 8mm needles with a self fringe.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

This scarf is a variation on the Prismatic Scarf by Huan-Hua Chye (Rav link). I managed to bugger up the pattern but loved the reverse side so much I just kept going. Maybe one day I'll do it again properly, but probably not. I used 8mm needles over 24 stitches and a full 300g of yarn.
One of the most gorgeous features of the pattern is the knitted on i-cord edge - so neat.

The yarn is Moda Vera Mandorla Printed (Rav link) - a wool/ack blend that is divinely squooshy and great to knit. Can't remember how I came by it, but I'm so glad I kept it.

It tones nicely with my blue beret from last winter and should be a bit of a boost next year when the late winter "I'm so sick of my black overcoat" blues set in.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Frugal and/or Free - What's sauce for the goose

DATE: 19 November 2009
SOURCE: Salvos, Tuggeranong
OBJECT: Corningware Saucepan with liquid measurements on the inside
NOTES: I had to be talked into this one. I know it's gorgeous, in mint condition and suitable for both normal people and southpaws, but its original price was $20. I would not have paid that. As it was, all bric-a-brac was half price and the Voice of Frugal Reason insisted I bring it home. I love it.

Also on I Op Therefore I Am - ACT.