Thursday, June 28, 2007


Yesterday I got a comment from a new person - as I usually do when that happens, I followed the link through to her blog - Diary of a mad, mad housewife. Check it out - she's hilarious!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


(In case you are wondering, with the exception of a small amount of chicken, I have not yet eaten meat after Ribapalooza on Sunday!)

And in other news, a quick FO post - whipped up this beanie for a friend's birthday on the weekend (yes, the Ribs place!!). (sorry about bogan head in picture - beanies so do not suit me!!)
Pattern: Grumperina's Odessa, without beads. I'm not sure if I'm a beads on knitting kind of person. I have seen some lovely things with beads, but to be honest, I'm not sure if I can be bothered stringing the beads!
Yarn: 1 and a bit 50g balls of Jo Sharp Luxury 8ply DK, col 327 (navy) lot 19082 - from the stash (hurrah!)
Sticks: 4mm bamboo dpns for the rib, 4.5mm bamboo circular and dpns for the main part. (note to self, must purchase a 4mm 40cm circular stick - I'm not a big fan of larger items on dpns - just the socks!
Time: A quickie, this one! (for a change) - cast on 21 June, finished 23 June.
What I learnt: Well, clearly, not beading. This is a great pattern - very clever shaping and so easy (especially if you don't bead). Love a knit that looks hard ("how do you get the knitting to go on an angle and straight at the same time??") but is actually easy (shhhh don't tell!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Would you like some extra meat with that?

On the weekend I went to a birthday lunch with friends, to a ribs restaurant (a child-friendly venue!). I can't remember the name of it, something along the lines of Ribs All Round, or All You Can Eat Meat, or Vegetarians 'R'n't Us - you get the picture.

Upon reading the menu, we were somewhat taken with the "BBQ Chicken" option. A WHOLE BBQ chicken. And the 750g steak (that's 1.6 pounds in the US). And of course the 1.1kg of ribs - which of course is what I (stupidly) ordered, assuming that at least half of it would be bones. Husby ordered a burger.

You can't really see it in this pic, but the meat patty was almost 2.5cm/1" thick!!!

And did I mention the menu strictly forbade the sharing of main meals (we did ponder how they would police that). And did I also mention you got a choice of a jacket potato, with lashings of sour cream, or chips. Just wanted to make it clear that the meals involved no greenery at all - unless you ordered a salad ("sized to share"!).

That's one huge rack of pork ribs and two, yep count'em two racks of lamb ribs underneath.

In the event that I ever think it is a good idea to order this many ribs again, please remind me of this experience. Say no to the ribs. Back away from the meat.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What I'm loving sick right now!

I never thought I'd get there, but I have - hurrah! I've finally finished the twisted stitch chart on the sockapalooza socks - and I have to say, I am LOVING knitting these now! I fly through the stocking stitch, and I actually feel like I probably will get these socks finished on time!

A question though - should I do the recommended standard slip stitch heel flap or should I do eye of partridge? I quite like the effect of eye of partridge but, you know, this is a Nancy Bush pattern we're talking about - should I mess with the Nancy magic??

And my clappy - half way through - woo hoo! At one stage I was like "too much stocking stitch", but now I am totally loving knitting this - and when I get to row 6, I'm all "yay, I'm making a new drop stitch stitch" and then row 8, even better - "I'm dropping a stitch, look everyone (ie no-idea-about-knitting husband and disinterested cat), I'm dropping a stitch!".

I think on reflection I should have done one more increase repeat, but overall I think it will be a good length and probably the right width for our climate. Yippee!

ps. sorry about my craptastic use of language today. I've been doing some heavy duty writing at work this week and I think it has taken all the good words out of me and left only the poor ones. Or I'm regressing to being a teenager in the 80s, one or the other!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Even though I always read the last page(s) of a book before I've actually reached the end, and I often read ahead on the internet for my favourite (overseas) tv shows, I do still love a nice surprise.

Just like the one I got when I collected the mail last night - my long awaited (and almost given up for lost) Knitterly Letter Swap package and letter from Michele! Woo hoo!
I was so excited I wrote straight back - so Michele, hope my letter gets there soon!!

(And looky what's underneath the great letter, card and chocolate - yes! A zip lock bag! Because you can never have too many zip lock bags!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

With this weather, you'll need a hat!

I promised my Melbourne friend J a hat. Some time ago. For her birthday. Which was in January. But you know, it's hot in Australia in January, so no rush. No rush at all. I even bought the yarn for her, in New York, in her colour.
With my visit to Melbourne looming, it was clearly time to cast on her le Slouch. As the yarn is 8ply (DK) and the pattern is written for a worsted yarn, I had to rewrite it to get the right size. Fortunately this worked first go, or else I'm not sure I would have got it finished in time for the visit (well, as it turned out, I finished it while I was there, but that's ok!). And it was most definitely cold enough to need a hat!

she loves it! (phew!)


Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, 1 x 50g skein, col 32 lot 101 - only 1 skein - I was amazed (in fact, slightly less than a skein, how good is that!). This yarn knits up so gorgeously - soft, light, drapey. Just beautiful. Now I want to buy me some more!
Pattern: Knit and Tonic's Le Slouch, modified for 8ply/DK weight yarn. Love the crown shaping on this - double decreases - so cool!
Sticks: 4.5mm 40cm bamboo circular, then 4.5mm bamboo dpns.
Time: 8 June 2007 - 17 June 2007
What I learnt: Not to forget taking my dpns to Melbourne with me (had to buy new ones - oh well, you can never have too many sticks - quite fortunate really, as J is using them to knit her boyfriend scarf, using the Yarn Harlot pattern and Rowan Summer Tweed.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I am a good girl

Oh yes I am!

I went to Melbourne for the weekend to visit my friend J. Of course, get two girls together at sale time and what do you expect? Sale shopping! And, in my case, yarn shop shopping!

But factor in my ban on buying clothes/shoes until November (November!) and it means you get one very disciplined shopper. Yep, that's me, a disciplined shopper! (heh!). Even J was pretty good, only buying two tops on Friday.

That was, of course, until we went yarn shopping on Saturday...

First was the Knitter's Workshop, in Brunswick East - nice and local to J's house. Nice little shop, lots of patterns and helpful owner/staff. Didn't buy anything this time, but this was the shop where I bought the yarn for this (and at the same time J bought her first yarn and sticks since about high school - yay!)

Then Sunspun, in Canterbury - not very close to Brunswick - but what a great yarn shop - Rowan, Jaeger, Colinette, Debbie Bliss, Noro, Jo Sharp. Mmmm heaven. And fabric too! This is where J really went to town:
Yarn for a jumper for herself (DB Cashmerino Aran), a scarf for her boyfriend (wooooo) (Rowan Summer Tweed) and a scarf for herself (Rowan 4ply Soft)! I on the other hand was so restrained. This is all I bought:
2 metres of fabric, 1 ball Jo Sharp Alpaca Kid Lustre (to go with the 3 I bought at Tapestry Craft to make Backyard Leaves, just to ensure I have enough) and some lovely buttons. I am sooooo good!

Finally, to Albert Park to the Wool Baa. Another great shop with a great range of yarn. No purchases here but not because the yarn wasn't fab. I nearly bought some Kidsilk Haze just because. But again, I restrained myself. I think I deserve a medal of some sort!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Not love at first sight

You know how mostly you fall in love with a knitting pattern at first sight? I'm very much one of those people. So much so that I'll often buy the yarn for it, even though I clearly have no time to actually knit it in the near future (unless I put aside the 50hundred other WIPs I currently have on the go).

The first time I saw a Clapotis, I was pretty much "meh". And then I kept seeing them. Everywhere. I started to feel like the only knitblogger who hasn't made one (although I know of at least one other out there - don't worry, your secret is safe with me!!). And it grew on me. The pattern grew on me and I decided I would make one after all. And I saw BrownPants' Clap on the weekend, and that really got my interest up.
And since I bought the yarn while I was in New York (Claudia's Hand Painted worsted in Black Walnut), and it's cold, and since I don't have 50hundred other WIPs at the moment (oops, clearly that's a lie, but go with me!) I cast on my Clap on Monday and knit all day until I got to the magic stage of dropping my first stitch (photo taken before this...).
I didn't do as many set up repeats (4 rather than 7) because I don't have as much yardage as the pattern requires. And I don't need a thick scarfy wrap thing (there should be a word for that) here in Sydney. So I'm pretty happy with my Clappy. And have proven to myself that I shouldn't write off a pattern just because I don't love it at first sight. There's still hope that one day I'll knit Monkeys.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Readers, I present you with my all time fantasy. I am sitting in my favourite (red) chair, surrounded by knitting projects, yarn and sticks, actually doing some knitting (quite possibly even finishing something!), with a box of chocolates (v. large) and the box set of Buffy (or The West Wing) (or Angel) (or Six Feet Under) (or even, darn it, the Gilmore Girls) (and most definitely the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice) and my husband is:
(a) vacuuming
and (b) cooking dinner (paella - yum!)
I'm sorry to inform you that he's mine, ALL MINE! Mwahahahaha!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wanna piece of me?

And get out your splayds!

I am humbled

And I thought I had a lot of red shoes.

Check this out...

Clearly I have some shoe shopping to do! (I so covet the red and white ones (second from front in the first photo), and I even hate white shoes. But those, I'd have those in a flash!)


Have only 6 rows to go of this bl**dy beautiful twisted stitch cable pattern band and then I'm on the home straight with these socks (normally, I'd only feel on the home straight once I've turned the heel and done the gussets, but with this one, the band is where all the effort is!!).

Here's the back:
And the front:
And for a change, with my photography, the colours are quite true to life - a bit more pinky purple in this yarn than I expected, but I'm quite happy with the way it is knitting up. And yes, if you think that the sock looks fairly blocky, that's because I got these (there are actually two of them, clearly!). Yippee!

You can't quite see it in this photo (it was getting a bit late to be taking pics yesterday, by the time I got around to it over the loooong weekend (too.busy.knitting!) but the cat has teeny tiny whiskers!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Despite the appalling weather we've been having in Sydney, 4 brave souls ventured out yesterday to meet up (for the first time, in my case) and do a little knitting - in public - because that's what yesterday was for. And also for having lots of coffees (and/or chai lattes).

And admiring of boots (see, I do have rose red shoes!!)

And chatting, flashing of knitting, discussing of sticks, yarn, yarn stores, shopping, wedding planning, and and and...We stayed for so long they had to kick us out so they could close up! While we were sitting there an older lady came up to us (as she was leaving) and asked about our knitting - we'd been talking earlier about when we knit on the bus, and no-one ever asks about it or says anything. So it was nice, but also a bit weird, to actually have someone say something to us.

Thanks for a great afternoon Nora, Shaz and BrownPants! And Nora for the photos (you might see them on all of our blogs!). It was fabulous to meet you all in person, rather than virtually!

edited to add: photo credits - pics by BrownPants (chai latte) and Nora (boot!) on Nora's camera!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Freedom beanie

edited to add: By popular (heh!) demand, a pic of me wearing it:
Loving the way Miss E's ear flap beanie knitted up in her chosen yarn, I had to make one for myself, sans earflaps. I'm not sure why, as beanies do not suit me at all, but there you go.
So here's my Freedom beanie - haven't decided yet whether to wash/block it or not. I'm a bit scared it will be ridiculously large if I wash it so I'm putting off the inevitable. A bit of fun colour for a dreary day, like today (although clearly I'm not wearing the beanie at work!!) (I am though, wearing this. Hurrah!). Interesting how the yarn striped more in Miss E's version than mine. Gauge, hey!


Pattern: Blue Sky Bulky Earflap Hat, 2006 Knitting Pattern a Day calendar (March 28) (previously made by me here)

Yarn: Twilleys Freedom, 1.25 x 50g balls

Sticks: 10mm dpns

Time: I'm somewhat embarrassed to say it took me almost 3 weeks (you're not the only one Bells!) - in my defence, I was knitting a bunch of other stuff in between! I could only do a few rows on the big sticks before I had to put it down and pick up something a bit finer!

What I learnt: Last time I made this, I used the recommended stick size and the beanie turned out just a little small. This time, used next size up - quite good!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Got my Knitpicks dpns a week or so ago (thanks Donni!) and so could finally cast on for my sockapalooza socks - all I can say is thank goodness for nice pointy metal dpns. The pattern I've chosen (Traveler's stockings, from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road) is fabulous but the pattern cuff (below the chevron bit) is full of twisted stitch cables. I HATE twisted stitch cables. I must be a madwoman. But if I'd attempted these with bamboo - well, there'd be a little pile of firewood kindling beside my knitting chair by now!

You can't see the pattern too well in this shot but I am loving it (twisted stitch cables and all) and in particular, am looking forward to the end of the 36 row patterned cuff and the nice stocking stitch thereafter. Ah, soothing stocking stitch.

Monday, June 04, 2007

CWS - 2 June

Another lovely Saturday afternoon of knitting, this time at Miss D's house. We had an awful lot of food, but there somehow didn't seem to be much left at the end. Not sure how that happened!
Miss E, with her second ever knitting project, an ear flap beanie knit in the round - she is a clever clogs! I didn't attempt knitting in the round for ages after I started knitting again! (I liked this beanie so much I made one for myself, sans earflaps - pics later this week!)
KO, knitting this time, on the pram cover she started at our CWS meeting about 4 months ago - yep, that's all the progress! (but she is working full-time and studying as well, so there isn't much left-over time to knit at the moment!).
KT, footloose and fancy free this weekend with her husby and baby away for the weekend (and yes, still knitting away on the cushion cover - in between our get-togethers, she had a bit of a moss stitch disaster and had to frog about 1o rows!) (And yes, that is KO's rear end in the background - cheeky!)
Miss D, snorgling her very placid and cute burmese cat Oscar, who later had much fun playing with the tail of my knitting (mmm, cat saliva yarn!)
Since everyone complained after last time (well, ok, maybe one or two people) that I didn't post a pic of me, here I am, knitting the left front of Trellis. Am on the home stretch now - just the right front to do, and then the seaming and collar - yippee!
And finally, Miss E's first ever knitted project - how cute are these!!!

Friday, June 01, 2007

My knitting book

If someone were to ask me what was the one item that was indispensable in relation to my knitting (leaving aside the obvious yarn and sticks), I think I would have to say my knitting book.
It's a simple yearly diary, given to me for Christmas by my boss (she gave one to all the people in her team). Despite a number of attempts, I am hopeless at keeping a diary, even a short daybook type of one, and if it wasn't for Outlook at work I'd never know what was going on or when people's birthdays are (and I used to be so good at that!).
Anyway, the best thing about my knitting book is that it has the days of the week on the left hand page, with the same amount of space for each day, and the right hand side is blank, for notes. So I can note what I work on every day (which I do) and then make notes about the project(s) or blog ideas or whatever.
And there's a month to a page view at the front, where I note when I cast on and finish all projects, and I keep a running tally each month (so far, I'm only just ahead in the FOs, which is my aim!). And on the blank pages at the very front and back I keep lists and how-tos - like the kitchener graft instructions, which I can never remember. I know there's a rhyme thingy but I can't remember it either. And how to do a right slanted increase, and a left slanted increase. And eye of partridge heel. It really is so handy. I carry it everywhere with me!