December 31, 2005
December 30, 2005
Still no knitting, word is that the current heatwave won't break until Monday. For New Year's Day, we are apparently expecting temperatures of 40C. Yay, or something.
So, seeing as it was too hot to wrangle with yarn, I decided to tussle with tulle instead. Call me stupid.
20 pieces of tulle attached, 16 to go. Each layer gets harder though, as you have to try to get it all under the sewing machine and keep the previously sewn bits out of the way.
I made Em's first tutu, and after that I swore I would never make another one. I had the most recent one made, at a cost of $270 for a plain, undecorated tutu. That woman earned every penny. I think I'm swinging back to "I'll never make another tutu as long as I live!" ;)
December 29, 2005
I got tagged by Janet at Kniterary Girl.
Seven Things To Do Before I Die
1. Travel overseas
2. Buy a house
3. Visit Manitoba
4. Be financially secure
5. Hire a housekeeper
6. Knit up the stash
7. Learn to relax
Seven Things I Cannot Do
1. Kitchener Stitch without a video
4. Ride a bike
5. Wait patiently
7. Think up any more things for this section.
Seven Things That Attract Me to…Blogging
1. Keeping a record of my knitting
2. Meeting other bloggers far and wide (pinched from Janet)
3. Me too! Me too! (In the sense of having a blog, and seeing what other people are making and wanting to make it too)
4. I had these visions of imparting technical knowledge, but it hasn't happened much.
5. Getting to know so many wonderful people
6. Being able to talk about my knitting without being met by blank looks.
7. Sorry, I'm out of things now
Seven Things I Say Most Often
1. I have a headache. (Seriously, I always have a headache)
2. Twinkie! I just swept the floor!
4. Is your room clean?
6. Emily, stretch your feet!
7. Mmmmm. (Years ago, a friend said that someday Em will come home and say "Mum, I'm pregnant", and I'll just say "mmmm". Seriously, Em never shuts up, so I spend half the day just saying "Mmm")
Seven Books That I Love
1. Gone With The Wind
2. David Eddings' Belgariad
3. Anything by Anne Bishop.
4. A Gathering of lace
5. "Someplace to be Flying" Charles De Lint
6. "The Dark Tower" Stephen King, but the ending drove me mad.
7. "The Outsiders" S E Hinton
Seven Movies That I Watch Over and Over Again
I'm not a huge movie watcher. I can't sit still for hours at a time. I like to watch them sometimes, but there aren't many I watch over and over.
Seven Songs I Play Over and Over Again
1. "Into My Arms" Nick Cave
2. "Stay" Shakespeare's Sister
3. Anything Em is dancing to and needs to practice. Over and over and over and over!
4. "If" Bread
5. "Travelling Soldier" Dixie Chicks
6. "1999" Prince
7. "You Oughta Know" Alanis Morissette
Seven People I Want To Join In Too
If you're reading, consider yourself tagged!
Thank you all for your kind offers to let me ship a Knit Picks order to you, I'll be getting in touch!
Heat wave again today, so no knitting news, but I have cut 8 metres of tulle into tutu ruffles.
December 28, 2005
Another hot Sydney day today. Too hot to knit, but I did manage to get the test shawl knitted up to the end of my chart over the past few days.
Here's a close up of the newest part.
I'm pleased with it, and the chart seems right now. Now I just have to do the real shawl, and decide on an edging. The baby it is intended for is due in February. Finishing it shouldn't be a problem if we don't have too many of these horrible hot days.
Woolwinder asked what Santa brought Twinkie for Christmas. Behold, she got her favourite gift!
Wrappings and boxes! Nothing makes Twink happier than paper to tear up and boxes to hide in. Except food.
And maybe Em's new iPod.
I'm going to enter rant mode now, but it's knitting related ;)
Emily gave me a belated Christmas present - her germs. I've spent the last two days with a horrible sore throat and a headache. Thanks, Em! ;) But maybe that's what had made me so grumpy and whiny.
I got Knitted Babes for Christmas. I've had it on my wish list for a while, and it's a pretty nice book. I knew Em would like some of the things in it, and I do too. It's a nice book, I finally sat down and spent some time looking through it. Em claims she would like to knit some of the things in it, too. (Which doesn't mean much. She starts a lot of knitted items, but doesn't often follow through on them ;)
All the items are knitted in fingering weight. That's fine, I decided to look around on the 'net for some suitable yarn. The vast majority of fingering weight yarn in Australia is baby yarn, available in a fairly limited range of colours. Of course, I could dye it, and that may be what I have to end up doing. Bendigo makes a nice 4ply (fingering) cotton, but I'd prefer wool.
Anyway, I found something perfect. Knit Picks Palette.
Ideal sized balls (50g), great range of colours, fantastic price.
Rant Mode On.
Knit Picks won't ship to Australia. I'm sure I've had this whine before. It crops up fairly regularly for us Aussies. The reason on the site is " Our primary reason for this is that we are not able to provide our international customers with the same superior service we provide to our North American customers. We have not been able to locate satisfactory shipping options that will work for all 75 countries we were servicing for our other companies."
Garbage! I have been ordering yarn (and other items) from all over the world for years. I have never had a problem with shipping that I can recall. Some places overcharge for shipping, but I have never lost an international parcel.
While I console myself with the idea that Knit Picks are costing themselves a great deal of money by leaving a large proportion of the world out of their company, it still pisses me off.
Of course, I have plenty of fingering weight sock yarn I could use, but it is slightly more expensive than the Palette. If anyone knows of something comparable to the Palette that I can get, could you let me know?
Anyway that's my rant for the day. Oh, and DH just announced that the thermometer still says it's 32C in our living room. At 9pm. Yay.
Oh, and another one! Is it just me, or have the comment spammers been doing overtime for the past few days? I always get spam, but it seems to have exploded of late.
Rant mode off.
For now ;)
December 26, 2005
Images of an Australian Christmas.
Beautiful weather, perhaps a little bit too hot. Not a cloud in the sky.
The kids played in the pool.
The grown ups played with water guns.
The dog waited for table scraps.
Lots of sitting around.
Lots of gifts. No diamonds in my stocking, but a Polar Bear!
The 80's are back, people.
Just some of the food. I don't think anyone here needs to eat for the next week or so. I was totally wiped out by 8.30pm. Midnight Mass was lovely, but Em still woke up before 7am.
A wonderful day was had by all. It's a bit like a wedding, isn't it? You spend ages preparing for it, then it's all over in one day. Today we're going to visit Grandma, and over the next few days we'll be trying to teach Em that just because she can't hear us when she has her ipod on, we can hear her, and there's no need for her to shout.
December 25, 2005
December 24, 2005
And so Christmas Eve is here! Em is feeling unwell today, just a bit of a cold, but she had to have a nap earlier in the day. Probably a good thing as we're off to Midnight Mass for the first time this year. I'm hoping that getting home at 1am will help her to sleep until at least 8am. Fat chance ;)
Hubby has been very busy with Christmas feast preparations. Behold, the chicken that looks almost too good to eat. Almost.
The last minute preparations have been taken care of, the prawns are bought, the chook and the pork are cooked and in the fridge, and Em baked cookies.
It was hot, too hot to knit the shawl, so I learned a new technique.
Two socks on two circs. I used the cyberclass at the socknitters site. I found it difficult at first. I'm a visual learner, I like to watch things to learn them, and I found the written directions confusing, but now that I've worked it out, it is far, far, easier than I expected.
The socks are being knit in Trekking XXL, shade 110 for DH. I am not worried about making them identical, becuase I wound the 100g ball into 2 balls to do the socks and couldn't get the ends to match up. I just hope it won't drive me totally insane as I'm knitting them!
Em and Twinkie are waiting for Santa.
I'm waiting to see if Em is still awake for Midnight Mass!
December 23, 2005
Today it was 34C here, so not much knitting got done. Instead we were stupid and hit the shopping centre again. This time, however we got clever and caught the train instead of trying to find a parking spot. It was much easier! Not recommended if you're shopping in bulk, of course.
Tomorrow we're expecting temperatures of 39C (102F). Not looking forward to it, and despite swearing off shopping centres until at least June, we may end up at one just to sit in the airconditioning. (Does anyone else remember the episode of "Married with Children" where Al packed the whole family up and set them all up in deckchairs in the supermarket?)
So whilst we were out and about, I saw this.
I'm learning to love the camera on my phone!
He's about four feet tall, and has a motion sensor, that when set off makes him sing a christmas song and play the guitar.
Unfortunately, there's no gift that big under the tree, and Em assures me that all my gifts are under the tree, and that there are no four foot high parcels hidden about the house. Dammit. ;)
In other news, this
needs to become a tutu asap.
Can you knit a tutu?
December 22, 2005
News just in! Emily has a bedroom floor!
That's about as clean as it gets. I should have taken a picture on Tuesday afternoon, just to give you a comparison. At least I have proof that it can be done now.
I didn't make the shawl on her bed, that's a DK weight crochet shawl that my Grandma made for her when I was pregnant.
However, I have been knitting on my shawl.
It's growing. In fact, I've got as far as I can until I do some more of the test piece to work out the next chart. I'm really pleased with it so far, and a little worried that I won't want to give it away once it's done.
Here's a close up of one quarter.
Nice, huh? This much has been done using patterns from various books. The next bit is my own chart, and it didn't go quite as planned. Hopefully, I've sorted out the problems.
December 20, 2005
Another finished project!
Actually this one has been done for a while, I just never got around to blocking it until now.
I used Madil Kid Seta (1 ball) in the shade 467, and "A Touch of Glass" 6/0 seed beads in "Teal Transparent". (Found at my local craft store - I couldn't find an online resource).
This was a really enjoyable knit. I always enjoy lace, and I like to knit with beads. The pattern wasn't too difficult, although there is occasional patterning on the purl rows. It's also the first time I've used the loop method to knit the beads, usually I thread the beads onto the yarn before I start to knit. I think I prefer the threading method, but for this fluffy & sticky yarn, the crochet hook method was probably better.
I love Madil Kid Seta! It's so fine to knit with, the scarf is as light as a feather, and it blooms beautifully after you block it. But it isn't pleasant to rip if you make a mistake.
The mailman brought me a lovely gift from the Stripey Tiger today!
There may also have been a Caramello Koala in there, but he escaped. Luckily, I caught him with my mouth ;)
Isn't the stocking cute? Beautiful job, Stripey, and thank you!
Probably no more knitting tonight and most of tomorrow, as I'm heading in to Em's room to clean it myself. Pass the gas mask. Lets hope I don't find another sandwich.
December 19, 2005
I've been working on the shawl again.
I really should finish the test pattern on the swatch, but I screwed up the maths, and the chart needs tweaking. I couldn't be bothered playing with it right now, so I decided to go back to the shawl, and knit up to the bit that I know is right. It's growing very slowly, but there is only about 6 more rows before the next pattern shift.
Em was supposed to be cleaning her room yesterday, but seemed to be spedning a lot more time stuffing about. She found every hat I've ever knit her, put them all on and took a picture of herself. This is what I found on the camera this morning.
She's a dork.
She complains about having nothing to do, but funnily enough, if I give her a job, she finds a million creative ways to avoid it!
December 17, 2005
Hey, guess what? I do knit!
I finally finished the Never Ending Knee Highs.
Obviously, she didn't pull them up very well, but they're done. They really felt like they took forever. I don't think I'll volunteer to do plain knee highs again in a hurry. They're made with Lorna's Lace's Girly Stripe, knit on size 0 (2mm) rosewood DPNS.
And of course, it's far too hot to wear knee highs (or any wool socks) right now.
Next, I plan to learn 2 socks on 2 circs, but I think I'll be concentrating on the shawl right now. The chart is causing me some grief, my math skills are more than a little rusty it seems.
Guess who I saw while out and about?
Sorry for the crappy picture, I took it on my phone. See Santa on the escalator? It just tickled me to see Santa wandering about the shops all by himself. Looking for last minute bargains perhaps?
December 16, 2005
Three days since the last post, and not enough knitting time in those three days!
I've been finishing a few crafty christmas endeavours, and running around like a chook wth it's head cut off.
The Ballet was absolutely beautiful on Tuesday. It was the Australian Ballet, performing The Sleeping Beauty at the Sydney Opera House. We had great seats, and the performance was wonderful. Of course, the camera remained in my bag all night. I should have taken some Opera House and Sydney Harbour at night pics!
The mailman has been very good to me :)
Gifts from the tribe arrived, all lovely!
Polar Bears and Christmas items galore! Thank you, Annie, Jus and Shannon.
BTW, I have two sisters and two brothers. When we were children, I always remember Dad calling us the tribe, and signing Christmas cards "and the tribe".
And to finish off today, here is my idea of male beefcake.
Man in kitchen, baking fruitcake. Anything will do, but it's fruitcake this time.
December 13, 2005
I think I am pretty much finished with my christmas shopping. Apart from a television, which is what my sisters and I are getting my mum. But of course, they're arguing about which one would be better. I've thrown up my hands now, and told them just to tell me how much to give them.
Em's concert went very well, but I only took a couple of pictures, and they came out blurry. I spend the whole concert running around like a mad woman! Em's dance teacher gave me a gift to thank me for the sewing and stuff I did.
A polar bear snow globe!!
So there has been knitting going on. Finally! I've proceeded on the swatch, which is really just a test pattern for the shawl.
And apart from that, I've been busy doing this.
Charting the next bit of the pattern. There is more maths involved than I like ;)
However, I think I've got it, so we'll soon see. It certainly takes longer than I thought it would.
We're off to the Sydney Opera House tonight, to see the Australian Ballet perform Sleeping Beauty. Em's excited, and I'm looking forwad to it, too!
December 10, 2005
Busy, busy, busy. Unfortunately, I'm not very busy knitting. Some has been happening.
Here's the swatch (for lack of a better word) for the shawl.
I've just run out of green sock yarn, so it's going to be continued in white acrylic baby yarn. I've done the shawl as far as the swatch.
I haven't decided where to go next with the pattern yet. Em's dance concert is tomorrow, after that I'll hopefully get some life again. Yeah, who am I kidding?
Our lino is laid!
I should've taken a picture of the old crap to show you what a vast improvement it is! For a start, there's no holes in it, and no bunny chewed edges.
Twinkie isn't so happy with the new stuff, but she's starting to lay on it now.
Still life Lino with Rabbit.
And the Christmas preparations have finally begun at Casa Del Random.
Em put up our tree today.
We actually have a beautiful 7 foot tall tree, but the house is too small, and we have nowhere to put it, so we have this little 4 foot one that fits on top of the table.
And DH started soaking fruit for Christmas cake!
Because I'm too impatient to wait, he baked me a Dundee cake.
I love a man who bakes!
December 07, 2005
Nothing happening here. Except melting. Right this minute, the Weather Pixie is saying it's 40C (104F). My polar bear thermometer is saying 36C (97F). In my loungeroom. So I'm not even touching wool today.
I did finish Em's Never Ending Knee Highs, but for some reason, she won't put them on so that I can take a picture. In fact she won't even try them on to make sure they fit. And the way her feet are growing, that's in doubt!
December 05, 2005
We are in the process of cleaning out the kitchen and family room in preparation for having our linoleum replaced tomorrow. n the course of this cleaning, I found a box full of photos and negatives. Most of them are of Emily and my various nieces and nephews, but some were older photos, school friends, dorky photo booth photos and the like.
That's me with Michael Hutchence from INXS, circa 1984.
Sigh. I can't believe it was 21 years ago - and that I was 13, only a year older than Emily is now. Scary. Mind you, I don't think I'll tell Emily that!
December 04, 2005
A little bit of knitting has been going on. Just a little.
I started a baby shawl in Bendigo Wool 4ply, using this Sirdar pattern.
This is how far I got.
I wasn't very happy with it. I liked the pattern, but I hated the construction. First you cast on, knit the centre square, cast off the square, then cast on and knit the four borders, then cast them all off, and sew it all together, knit the final border, and sew it on seperately.
Far, far too many cast on and off edges for my liking. As you can see, I started with a provisional cast on. Then I had plans to graft it all together, but the stitch counts didn't match up. The square has 105sts, the borders each have 91. Madness. And the fabric knit at the gauge they recommended was far too stiff for a baby shawl.
So I'm going to design my own.
Yep. But it's all a little harder than I expected. Of course, that could have something to do with the little tiny perfectionist streak I have. I started it with the yarn and needles that I intend to use, but I stuffed up the charting. Then I was stuffing up the pattern. This is the very beginning of my shawl.
Nothing too difficult there, yet. I kept going, but I was making too many mistakes, and I had to keep frogging it. (Is it possible to make mistakes if it's your own design and no one else knows any different?)
So I pulled out some sock yarn with a similar gauge and started the pattern with that, charting it carefully. This way, it doesn't matter if I have to frog so much that the yarn becomes unusable!
I wanted to chart it, just in case it comes out really nicely, and I want to knit it again some day. Hopefully I'll get some time to knit some more of it soon!
Here is the start of the pattern in the scrap yarn.
I'm pretty happy with it so far.
The mailman brought me this on Friday.
Meaghan at The Knitted Bunny sent me this Fibreworks lace weight merino/possum blend. It's gorgeous! I love the colours, and the yarn is so soft. I haven't knit with possum before, and I don't know quite what I expected, but I never thought it would be this soft.
My garden is blooming! I have a notorious knack for not being very good with plants. However, we recently planted some rose carpet bushes, and they're just starting to pop out flowers everywhere.
Aren't they pretty? Mind you, I can't take any credit, I've just left them alone, and they did all the hard work themselves. ;)
December 01, 2005
Aah, Life. It's getting in the way of my knitting!
It's been raining here. A lot. Sydney is in severe drought right now, so bad that we're on Level 3 water restrictions. Which basically means that we can't use water for wasteful purposes, like hosing off driveways, sprinklers and the like. In any case, we're not used to rain. On Tuesday there was 46mm in Sydney.
Yesterday, I was driving down to the shops, and I braked at the roundabout. I heard water running. I looked over my shoulder, to see water coming from underneath the back seat.
I first thought that my petrol tank had sprung a leak, but I then realised that I couldn't smell petrol. I got home, opened the boot, and saw that the carpet in the boot was soaking wet. Lifted it up, and the whole spare tyre well was full of water. There is a leak somewhere, and I think I'd better keep the car out of the rain!
I also think I'd better stop buying yarn, and think about that new car we've been idly considering.
So I spent a great deal of yesterday bailing out and mopping up the car. The carpets are all wet, and I've been leaving the car with everything open, and hoping that we don't get more rain.
Today we're off to visit my grandmother.
She's the one who taught me how to knit, many years ago. My mother (her daughter) was killed in a car accident when I was eight years old, so my siblings and I went to live with my father and stepmother on the other sde of Sydney. Consequently, we didn't see a lot of her, or other members of that side of the family. I barely know her. However, she had a fall a few weeks back, and has been in hospital. We saw her there a couple of times, but she was sent to a nursing home last week, so we're going to see her there today.
My Aunt and cousins apparently cleaned out her house. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe we had any right to Grandma's belongings. My Aunt and cousins are much closer to her than my sister and I. I have very little contact with my cousins, but one of them is close in age to my sister, and they stay in touch. My cousin rang my sister and told her that there was nothing of value in the house, and everything was old and/or dirty, so everything had been bundled up and thrown out.
The more I think about this, the angrier I'm getting. Who decides what is "of value"? It was probably all of value to Gandma, who never got to go home and collect the things that were precious to her. She never got to say goodbye to her dog. We saw my Aunt at the hospital a couple of times, and she just didn't care. All she could talk about was finding a nursing home. I'm angry to think that they just shipped Grandma off when she wanted to go home.
I can't believe that there was nothing of value in the house. But I'm not talking about jewellery or knick knacks or appliances.
What happened to her knitting things? Maybe they were only old plastic needles and stuff, but they would have had great value to me. That's what I associate with my grandma. She taught me to knit, and I would have liked to have some of her "stuff", cheap crap or not. But they didn't even ask.
But the thing my sister and I agree on is the photos. I have only three pictures of my mother. My sister has two. So my sister asked my cousin what happened to the photos. No one seems willing to give her an answer. They're going to ask around for them.
I don't care about Grandma's "valuables". My aunt's definition of valuables and mine are obviously far different. Nice of her to ask though.
The scarf is done, but due to the crappy weather, it's unblocked. And I'm out today, so it won't happen today either.
Let's hope it doesn't rain while I'm out with the car!