Sunday, June 29, 2008

Status symbol

The Old Flame is quite chuffed at adding the term Honorary Bloke Status (HBS) to the blogosphere.

I think we need a new one for him now - CPS - Craft Pimp Status.

He was at a two day course this week. The only person excited to be there, and who stayed awake, was a woman crocheting a rug. She's doing a crochet course and had heard of SnB but didn't know anything else about it. He happily filled her in and sent her the group details.
See - Craft Pimp.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Seven Things Week 43

I think a corner may have been turned and its only taken 43 long weeks!

I just don't want stuff at the moment. I popped into the newsagents at lunchtime during the week, took a look at all that glossy paper and walked out again. Just couldn't do it. Not even the knitting mags attracted me. I've cancelled a couple of subs lately and am not renewing others. Right now the only renewals will be Interweave Knits and Yarn.

I'm sure this is partly a reaction to having to deal with all of Dad's stuff as well, but whatever works, right?

IN (4)
1 pair snow boots (OP SHOP)
2 jumpers (OP SHOP)
1 pr point protectors (GIFT)

OUT (48)
23 balls yarn GIFTS & DONATIONS
20 prs knitting needles GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 washcloths GIFTS & DONATIONS

2 berets
1 washcloth

IN 4
OUT 48

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Making a blue*

It is apparent that I am not only mathematically challenged but a ridiculously pie-eyed optimist (or someone who stubbornly refuses to see the evidence in front of her).

The pattern for the Rollin' Beret clearly states that the hat requires 123 m of yarn. The ball band for the Dale of Norway Ara clearly states that each 50g ball consists of 50 m of yarn.

Anyone of moderate intelligence and basic mathematical ability would have worked out before they started knitting that they were going to be short. I worked it out when I had almost finished the first ball and was in a committed relationship with the project.
There was still some denim blue recycled 12 ply left, so I started the whole slip-stitch extension method again with hope in my heart and an eye on the end of the ball. The good news is the recycled 12 ply in the denim colour is all used up. It ran out of about 15 rows too soon.

I tried knitting faster with the remainder of the Ara, because everyone knows if you knit faster you'll finish before you run out of yarn. I got to the end of the ball faster - 6 tiny, decrease-6-stitches-in-every-round, rounds short.

This disappointment happened just before we left SnB last night. By the time I reached home I was prepared to chuck the lot in the bin and lie down and weep. The frugal self prevailed, though and I finished the bloody thing off with a very small amount of recycled 12 ply crepe wool in navy. Not quite what I'd planned, but not wasteful either.

*for non-Australian's "to make a blue" is to make a mistake. Not to be confused with "having a blue" which is an argument/fight.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sock Monster

I am a selfish, selfish daughter who doesn't love her mother.

Originally Mum said that the two pairs of woollen socks I'd knitted her were enough. Now that she's refusing to go away for winter, she thinks she might need some more socks - NOW!

That's not how she expressed it. What she said was how lovely these faux-isle socks are,

just perfect for chilly mornings at the gym and lovely as bedsocks as well - not too hot - and isn't it a shame that she doesn't have other colours and didn't she buy some sock yarn in Nundle last year?

This yarn, as it happens. P1010002_1

The irony of her wanting me to knit fine yarn on tiny needles into bedsocks for her is not lost on me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Knitting Pretty

One of the resolutions this year was to “Knit the Pretties”. These FOs definitely count.

The Rollin’ Beret (pattern by Woolly Wormhead) came up beautifully but far too small. I can only wear it as a misshapen beanie so it’s blocked and in the box for charity. It was such a pleasure to knit though. Don’t you love it when you just have to stop every now and then and exclaim over how pretty your knitting is?

I “stretched” the 70g of the gorgeous 2ply hand dyed, hand spun wool by slip stitching every second row of the body of the beret with some recycled denim coloured 12 ply crepe that was leftover from TTWCs. The slip stitching also created a thicker and warmer fabric - bonus. There was enough of the hand spun left for a fun i-cord embellishment and now it’s all used up.

The washcloth for Old Flame’s mum is finished, too, and with 10 days to spare. Loving the colours, Spidey. The lacy pattern is a little obscured by the variegated yarn but it also opens it up and makes it a bit more girly than a garter stitch pattern. I love that the colours are girly version of the Canberra Raides colours, a team that Old Flame's mum and dad are passionate supporters of.

I’ve started another beret using some Dale of Norway Ara that was part of a prize from Yarn magazine. The colours are variegated purpley-blues and I just want to sink into that deep indigo and dream. A commercially spun thick and thin single, it’s squishily gorgeous to knit and I bet it will pill like a bugger. Doesn’t matter - it’s a hat, not a jumper. Hopefully this one will fit, but if it doesn’t someone will get the joy of wearing it and it’s another completed project and two more balls of yarn towards the stash reduction goal.

This won’t be the last time the pattern is used, either. There’s 270g of Waratah Fibres hand spun Wensleydale blend that is crying out to be the hat and mitten set I need for the ski season (please snow soon, OF’s first cross-country tour is this Sunday!). There’s a pattern in the most recent Spin-Off for lined mittens which looks just the ticket. More pretties, more stash reduction. Woot!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Seven Things Week 42

IN (4)
1 top - SALVOS ($6)
1 skirt - SALVOS ($6)
1 magazine - SUBSCRIPTION
1 skein yarn - GIFT

OUT (235)
7 decorative & jewellry boxes - GIFTS & DONATIONS
152 balls yarn - SOLD. Yep, sold 'em at ACT Textiles member Bring & Buy sale. That's 152 balls of novelty yarn gone from my house. WHACKO!!!!!
8 balls yarn - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 blankie - GIFTS & DONATIONS
4 hankies - GIFTS & DONATIONS
48 knitting mags/patterns - GIFTS & DONATIONS
3 ring binders - GIFTS & DONATIONS


Bit slack on this - too busy disposing of stuff and mending. Can I count mending as SIAA?
I'm seriously down on whoever decided that overlocking elastic to the waistbands of sports pants, then flat-locking them down was a good thing. 2 pairs of the things needed the elastic changing and dammit it took a couple of hours per item to remove the old elastic before I could resew and thread new stuff! Still, that's 2 things renewed rather than chucked and replaced with new.

IN 4
OUT 235

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Time, of late, has not been my own. The little time that has been mine has been limited or with a different focus. It shouldn't be such a suprise, then, that my approach to knitting is going to have to change along with everything else in my life.

The only thing new I've started in 3 weeks is a washcloth for Old Flame's mother's birthday, and that's pretty much out of necessity rather than desire for the project itself (although the colours are very pretty and if you go ask Spidey , she might show you which of these limited edition cottons she has left).

Other projects on the needles are not portable. I'm rarely in one place for long enough to settle into the large projects (dividing time between work, Mum's and Old Flame's) and none of those places are conducive to concentrating on lace or aran knitting even if I was prepared to heft the bits along with all the other luggage.

However, a knitter has her needs and those needs must be met. I need pretty things, dammit. Pretty things I can conquer without feeling like a complete idiot.

I need a beret to keep my head warm on morning walks with the dogs, thick socks to go under hiking boots, and a suitable project to knit when Dexter comes on free to air next month.

So I'm thinking this beret in some Annie Gregg handspun I bought last year in Tarcutta, a retake of the Thuja socks in some Caressa DK (maybe) and this balaclava in Debbie Bliss DK silk for the Dexter project because he wears a silk mask sometimes.

Unfortuantely, I also have to knit this into about 6 metres trim for a Christmas in July outfit. OK, so I don't have to, but the yarn was a swap (and therefore free), as opposed to $17.95 a metre for the maribou feather trim.

(photo stolen from AmandaJ)

And is this a good time to mention that I want to reduce my boodle by two-thirds by the end of 2009? It's not that I have too much, you understand, just that I want to have less. Stop that laughing right now or you'll be struck off the potential recipient list.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

About a boy

Discussion with the Old Flame during the week (truncated and interpreted version) -

OF: So it's the Australia v. Ireland match on telly this Saturday night. We usually go to "Mad Wobbly's" [sic] to watch it. You could accept HBS (Honorary Bloke Status) for the evening with my mates or go to the ANU Film Group with TSS.

TAPH: Um, TSS and I don't actually want to see "No Country for Old Men" and I enjoy rugby. Does accepting HBS preclude quiet and discreet knitting? I can bring my own beer. You'd better check with the blokes.


OF: The blokes grant you HBS for the evening.

Note, no mention of knitting. Not sure that the blokes realise that Old Flame's girlfriend is a knitting nanna - yet.

Wonder if I can choose which bloke I'll be? Franklin, perhaps?

Seven Things Week 41

Happy WWKIP Day to all of you - couldn't get involved this year as I'd hoped, but I knit in public every day anyway.

IN (2)
1 ceramic olive dish - GIFT
1 costume's worth of fabric and yarn

OUT (11)
5 prs bed socks - GIFTS & DONATIONS
3 wash cloths - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 circular needle - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 hankie - GIFTS & DONATIONS


IN 2
OUT 11
(yay - back in the black) NETT OUT 9

Friday, June 13, 2008

Making beanies by the dashboard light

What does a knitter do when there's just an hour and a bit between appointments but to go home would take about the same time and be wasteful of petrol?

Park by Lake Burley Griffin, watch the outline of the black swans against the charcoal waters, gaze over at the pretty lights playing on the water on the opposite bank and knit a beanie.

There are far worse ways of spending a little time on a Thursday evening before catching up with a very old friend from Sydney at a community function and enjoying the generous (and yummy) hospitality of that community.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Seven Things Week 40

Decided to keep this up or I'd be hiding some major "ins". There has been a little op-shop therapy, and some DVD buying for buying's sake but not too much and there is still some very beautiful hand-spun at Vinnies Phillip if anyone's interested.

IN (32)
4 DVDs
1 tea towel - GIFT
1 table cloth - GIFT
3 sets knitting needles - GIFT
5 vintage knitting patterns - GIFT
2 TTWCs worth yarn - SALVOS (what, you think op-shopping ceased because Dad did? There's been a LOT of running around to do - some of in the vicinity of op-shops and you know it's against my religion to pass and open op-shop without a visit)
2 jumpers - VINNIES
8 tops - SALVOS
6 balls alpaca knitting yarn - SALVOS ($3 - heh, heh, heh. I know I wasn't buying any more yarn, but seriously - vintage pure alpaca knitting yarn - you'd have done it too)

OUT (9)
1 set chopsticks - BIN
1 bracelet - BIN
2 Calorimetries - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 balls wool - GIFTS & DONATIONS

2 Calorimetries
1 pr socks
1 scarf

IN 32

Friday, June 06, 2008

Life goes on

I've been hearing Dad say "Life goes on, Princess" all week. It does, but yesterday more than 300 family and friends gathered to honour his life.

It was bigger than Ben Hur and everyone involved did him proud.

And there was knitting. Mum had a bedsock in progress tucked into her handbag just in case (her urge to knit during the entire service was very strong) and one of my nieces carried her last piece of knitting in her hand with her hankie for comfort and because she finished it the last time she saw Poppy.

There has, of course, been knitting all week. We both knitted at the hospital with him before he died and Mum has "knitted her way to heaven" (her words) since and has made eight or nine more pairs of bedsocks.

I've made the girls calorimetries to match their school uniforms and a spare one for whoever needs one next. Socks have been finished, scarves have been finished and there are only 3 or 4 WIPs hanging around. Grief and stress are great for startitis - I don't recommend the cure.

Family and friends have rallied around and the Old Flame has been amazing, giving me strength, support, normality and chocolate as necessary.

The support from you all has been wonderful. Each night I've come home from a day of organisation, preparation and negotiation and been heartened by messages, emails, flowers and gifts. Thank you, you wonderful community of women.