Saturday, February 28, 2009

Seven Things Week 78

In an episode of Absolutely Fabulous, Edina once said (against type, I admit). "I don't want more choice, I just want better things."

This is where I leave Seven Things, maybe just for now or maybe for good - dunno yet. All I know is it's been a good experience. Difficult but, but good; one that has matured my ideas about consumption, particularly my own, and improved my self-knowledge and self-acceptance.

It has also prepared me for the unbelievably difficult task of dealing with the family's stuff. For the next few months I'll be concentrating on clearing Mum's decks, so crafting time won't increase in any significant way until at least the middle of the year and most likely later. And there's still stuff here that is earmarked for disposal but is waiting for the appropriate home. I'm never going to have a sparse, clutter-free living space - it's just not who I am - but I am now better able to assess what I bring in to my home and what I retain, and why.

IN (23)
7 lots of Tupperware (YMCA garage sale $5 the bag)
4 vintage knitting patterns (YMCA garage sale)
1 roll knitting in elastic (YMCA garage sale)
1 thimble (YMCA garage sale)
1 lot yarn (Vinnies $2.50)
1 knitting magazine (subscription)
1 lot spinning fibre (subscription)
1 WPI tool (gift with subscription)
5 beanies worth yarn (purchase by proxy - thank you Old Flame)
1 book (off loaded by TSS, but I do want to read it - ta)

OUT (149)
5 skirts - women's refuge
18 tops - women's refuge
7 prs trousers - women's refuge
5 dresses - women's refuge
3 jackets - women's refuge
1 cardigan
6 prs undies - bin
52 balls yarn - gifts & donations
52 books - Lifeline

1 beret
1 neckwarmer

IN 23
OUT 149
NETT 126

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Flick Knits

The movie year has begun. ANU Film Group started up again last week.

Ill health (create a shared history - give your loved one food poisoning for your very first St Valentine's Day together!) kept us from attending Quantum of Solace on the first night but I reckon the knit quotient in that is fairly low anyway.

There was no knitting to discover in Burn After Reading, either, which we took in on Friday night. Coen brothers through and through. Incandescent performance from Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton shone. Not so much Brad Pitt - wrong side of ham.

A freebie to the preview of a new NZ flick, Dean Spanley, netted a much more likely bunch of knits. Two garter stitch scarves (Bryan Brown's looked the more interesting of the two, if any garter stitch scarf could be called interesting), and a black capelet which I would love to have seen more of. There was also a fine fisherman's rib jumper. Definitely one for the pause treatment when the DVD comes out.

The movie was lovely. It's odd, quirky even, but Sam Neil does a fantastic job, as does the ever-divine Peter O'Toole. As frail as O'Toole obviously is, he still has IT. Bryan Brown played his usual character, and Jeremy Northam held it all together quite well. It's a story about loss and grief and while not completely successful, is worth a watch.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Seven Things - Week 77

Not a very productive week. Busy, but not productive.

In 0

Out 0


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Roadkill for Good Causes

Over on her blog, Making Good Use is keeping track of roadkill money - cash she finds in the street etc. It got me thinking about stuff we overlook or throw away everyday that can be put to good use, either for ourselves or for others.

The Old Flame and I collect aluminium cans which are sold to support a local community group. My nieces and nephew collect them to supplement their pocket money as their father and I did before them. There's not a huge amount of money in it, but it's an activity with lots of social positives, including cleaning up the neighbourhood and increasing recycling. It also teaches the kids that you have to work for money - although they do tend to delegate a lot of the actual collecting and crushing of cans to we adults. Managers in the making, I fear.

While we give the cans to the community group, they don't get the ring pulls. The ring pulls are made of titanium and can be recycled to make artificial limbs for the victims of land mines. We were a bit dubious when we heard this (and it did have a touch of the jumpers for penguins about it) but we are assured by an acquaintance (and I know her mother, so she wouldn't make it up) that she can ensure the ring pulls get to a local contact. About 36,000 ring pulls are needed for a single limb. That's lot of aluminium cans, but it doesn't take that long to remove them, and again, lots of positive benefits.

Postage stamps are something I've saved for charity all my adult life. The Presbyterian Women's Missionary Union in NSW is my preferred outlet, but often Rotary groups sell used stamps to raise funds for their projects as well. Stamps should be clipped or ripped with a few millimetres of space around the edge of the stamp. All stamps are welcome and I can provide contact details for the PWMU if anyone wants it, otherwise a call to your local Rotary group will probably put you in touch with a non-religious outlet.

Wine Corks from Taph Towers and associated abodes are donated to the Girl Guides who make cork boards from them to raise funds for their activities.

Clear plastic mailers. You know the clear plastic that magazines and other publications come posted in these days? Great as knitting pattern holders, I also use them for picking up the dog mess on walks. I get a few at home, but at work we get lots and at least one extra use of them is better than just throwing them in the bin as soon as the mail is opened.

Any one else have outlets for roadkill of this kind?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Too tired to blog, but not too tired to waste time on stupid memes

The Name Game meme

1. YOUR REAL NAME: ah, now, that would be telling

2. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME (father and mother's middle names): Ian Elaine or for a woman Elaine Ian

3. NASCAR NAME (first name of your father's dad; mother's dad): Charles Clarence or for a woman Elizabeth Dorothy

4. STAR WARS NAME (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name): Bucant

5. DETECTIVE NAME (favorite color, favorite animal): Green Ferret (ok, so the ferret is my least favourite animal - but it's a fantastic detective name).

6. SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name, town where you were born): Maree Butterworth

7. SUPERHERO NAME (second fav color, fav drink, add 'the' to the beginning): The Blue Vodka

8. FLY NAME (first two letters of your first name, last two letters of your last name): Anan

9. ROCK STAR NAME (current pet's name, current street name): Peggy Collings

10. PORN NAME (first pet, street you grew up on): Ginger Sunny-Glee

11. GANGSTA NAME (first three letters of your real name, plus izzle): Antizzle

12. GOTH NAME (black, and the name of one of your pets): Black Rose

13. STRIPPER NAME (favorite perfume, favorite candy): Chanel Nougat

ETA - Certainly play along if you want to - I just don't do the whole tagging thing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Seven Things Week 76

IN (19)
4 prs trousers - OP SHOP
4 shirts - OP SHOP
1 necklace - OP SHOP
1 suit- OP SHOP
1 pr hiking boots- OP SHOP
1 pr Birkenstocks- OP SHOP
4 vintage knitting patterns - OP SHOP
2 lots wool - bloody Cassidy's sale
1 set Tupperware - GIFT

OUT (75)
72 sets knitting needles - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 plate - BROKEN
1 stitch marker - LOST
1 book

3 berets

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So 9 cowls and 3 berets in a fortnight - comfort knitting. Loving Patons Inca, right now. It's a big quick knit, without being too chunky, and has enough wool and alpaca in the blend for a good hand feel when knitting. It's a loosely plied yarn and others have commented on the splittiness of it, but with a blunter needle (using Denise Interchangeables ATM), not bad at all.

The cowl is Snuggle Cowl, by Elspeth Kursh AKA Wry Punster. The pattern isn't on the blog, though, only on Ravelry - sorry non Ravellers.

The beret pattern is my own - will write it up, eventually

Not blocked yet, but soon.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Seven Things Week 75

IN (13)
1 coin purse - gift
3 lots of wool - gift
4 pieces of Tupperware - gifts
1 set magnets - gifts
1 book
3 sets undies - retail, even I don't buy my knickers second hand.

OUT (14)
1 pr yoga pants - GIFTS & DONATIONS
1 pr undies - BIN
1 phone charger - GIFTS & DONATIONS
2 display bottles - recycling

6 cowls

IN 13
OUT 14

Thursday, February 05, 2009

At the Clinic

Waiting room 1, 10.30am
Technician spies knitting and incredulously: Knitting?! Already?!
Taph, shaking head, slow smile forming: Still.

Waiting room 2, 10.55am
Elderly Polish woman smiling in recognition: something complete unintelligble (to me) in Polish, then clearly intelligible - You're not looking.
Taph: *shrugs* It's just easy stuff.

Waiting room 2, 11.00
Taph demonstrates by shoving the half-finished cowl over head: A scarf that doesn't flap.
Elderly Polish woman: *smiles approvingly*

Waiting room 2, 11.00-11.15
General discussion about charity knitting, socks for cancer patients, hats for Stasia, generally how wonderful Stasia is and the 4 large bags of wool the woman opposite is working her way through as cancer caps.

Waiting room 2, 11.30
Elderly Polish woman's daughter: Mum still knits. She's 94.
Taph: That's fantastic - what does she knit?
Elderly Polish woman's daughter: Beautiful socks, on really small needles.
Taph: I want to be her!

Waiting room 2, 11.50
Newly arrived woman: Now I want to knit - do you have a spare?
Taph: Yup. Hands over spare TTWC.

Waiting room 2. 12.10
Newly arrived woman gets called and hands back TTWC: Now I know what to bring to these days - I can't concentrate on puzzles.

Waiting room 2. 12.15
Late middle aged couple enter.
Him: I've never seen needles that short.
Taph: Demonstrates Denise interchangeables. Also good as a garotte!
Him: Ah, you've been waiting a while then.

Examination room. 12.30
Technician 2: Just pop into this gown, I'll be back in a minute.

Examination room. 12.35
Technician 2: OK, you're right to go - whoa! (spying knitting) - you don't like to waste time do you?
Taph: Do I have time to waste?
Technician 2: You're all clear - at least another 40 years.
Taph: Hope I've got enough stash for that.

Everyone. Please check your breasts regularly.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Summer lovin'

Each year the Friends of the Australian National Botanical Gardens arrange a series of concerts in the gardens during summer. This year there were musical interludes each Saturday and Sunday evening in January.

For a gold coin donation you get to sit under a canopy of eucalypts for a couple of hours and listen to some fine jazz, blues or swing music, depending on the evening. It's hugely popular, even with the local fauna.

The Old Flame and I managed to get to the last two, taking a picnic of hummus, bread, wine and knitting.

Although on this particular night, I'm not sure who was enjoying the evening more.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


sb lovecraft asked in the comments for more information about the Tupperware Collection Development Policy. Everyone else can look away now.

Mon was the first to use the term Tupperwhore to me, and it is so apt.

I was in my early 30s before I attended my first Tupperware Party. I was a Tupper-naysayer and only attended as a favour to the hostess on the understanding that I didn't have to buy anything if I kept my opinions to myself. It was expensive and plastic and my mother and grandmother used it - enough for a proto-greenie, feminist, frugal woman to justify avoidance. I admit to being scornful. Jan, I know exactly how you feel.

That first party, though, had me hooked. Not the embarrasing games (at which I excelled BTW - this girl knows her chocolate!), the dinky giveaways or the how-to-microwave-a-blackforest-cake-while-shaving-your-legs-and-whipping-up-a-couple-of-pinnies-in-your-pearls activities. It was one product that did it.

Rock n' Serve
I could cook in bulk, freeze in the Rock 'n' Serve, microwave the Rock 'n' Serve, and bung the Rock 'n' Serve in the dishwasher. And if anything went wrong with them, ever, Tuppeware would replace it - free. Sold! - I bought a set.

But it remained a secret and shameful, passion - not least because I was buying plastic! One evening I admitted this shame to a new friend who taught eco-living at TAFE. She led me gently by the hand to her kitchen and opened the cupboard - TUPPERWARE! She explained that it was a single purchase of highly durable and reusable storage containers and she recommended them to her students.

10 years on, I still use those original sets which is more than I can say for any of the cheaper containers I've acquired.

So, the collection development policy.

What I collect:

  • Rock 'n' Serve (natch), or any container I can freeze.
  • Storage containers, pantry and fridge - I don't really care about uniformity in the cupboard, any colour or size is fine, but when the seals need replacing, I prefer black seals. I prefer the square or oval containers as they often stack and always take up less space than the round versions.
  • FridgeSmart items - these things really do keep fruit and veg much fresher. I took the vegie crisper out of the fridge when I got my first couple of these.
  • preferably used items. I'll pay up to $6 for a piece of prize Tupperware (like a Rock 'n' Serve).

What I don't collect:

  • Round containers
  • Novelty/single use items
  • Items with too many pieces - bits get lost and/or take up valuable storage space
  • Items with sticky out handles - again a storage issue.
  • Items with limited guarantees - defeats the whole point

There are exceptions:
This is a "vintage" chicken keeper. It's big and bulky and novelty, but it was a gift at Christmas from the Old Flame, and I love it. There's room in every collection for the sentimental and kooky, and I'll manufacture a use of it quite soon.

And, sb lovecraft, if you get that spare parts manual - I'd love a gander.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Faith - a - faith - a - faith - a

I'm not the only one who has had incredulous comments about knitting in the current heatwave.

But I have faith. Winter will come and I have 5.5 cowls since last Wednesday to prove it.

And the Brumbies will replicate their 28-14 win over the Hurricanes in a trial match last Friday in the actual season.
Another act of faith.