Tuesday, October 30, 2007

SHOESday: New Shoes!

Well, I'm not sure how long it's been since I had a new pair of shoes - I think I may have held out since New York (so that's January - wow - that's big for me!) but I couldn't resist these little shiners.
I know mirror finish silver shoes are going to be "out" in about 5 minutes (if they aren't already) but these were so pretty and shiny and fun and they are just what I needed.And their upper shape is reminiscent of my lovely leopards (I still can't believe that shoe shape hasn't been more widely copied/inspired by). And they have a cute shaped heel, and bonus spare heel cap thingys (attention to detail - very good!)Best of all, they make me smile when I wear them - I'm wearing them today!

Monday, October 29, 2007


So last year husby kept asking me what I wanted for my birthday. "A sewing machine", I told him. And since it was an expensive purchase (man, did you know you can get a $10,000 sewing machine - you can buy things for less than that that you need a licence to drive!!!), I got a sewing machine for my birthday and Christmas, plus a couple of other bits and pieces, so I would have something to open on my birthday (as the sewing machine arrived at Christmas time).

I do have a confession. Today, this was what the sewing machine looked like (ps: this is most emphatically not the $10k one - if I'm not going to use it every day for the rest of my life, a nice basic one is good for me!!):
Yep, still in the box. Not even opened. I am a bad bad RoseRed. (And no, I didn't buy it because the box was red. Husby's mother picked it, as she knows her way around a sewing machine). Here's what it's like out of the box:
And more:Check out the warning on the foot pedal - well duh!
And apolgies now, for those who have seen a sewing machine in the last few years - mum's machine is almost as old as me, so opening this box was pretty much a squeeee moment after squeeeee moment. I mean, look at this:
A little drawer for the accessories - spare bobbins, needles, spool holder, unpicker, screwdriver (!!), cute little cleaning brush and so on.
And this - a flappy lid thing with instructions for filling the bobbin, threading, and the settings for all the fancy stitches.
And this - built in holder for all the different feet - including an automatic buttonholer! OMG, it was all I could do to stop hyperventilating the whole time!!

After all the excitement, I even did some sewing...but I'll save that for another day!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Emergency knitting - phew!

I don't know about you but I keep an emergency/long term knitting project in a ziplock bag (well, duh!) in the car - not for when I'm driving, clearly, but for those times when husby picks me up after work, or we are driving home from a night out or whatever. So basically, it's night time knitting generally - garter stitch all the way (because if I know I'm going in the car during the day, I always bring a project to work on). I have a little booklight which I clip onto the lap part of my seatbelt, and away I go. (Why, yes, I am a knitting nerd!!)On the weekend, I found myself with 45 minutes to spare, waiting for my mum to arrive at Central Station, with none of my usual knitting with me. So I jumped in the car and away I went on the emergency project.

And now I've finished it. Well, the main knitting portion of it anyway:
I just have to sew it up (using all those ends - is that bad??) and I plan to knit a garter stitch border around it with mitred corners. So who knows how long it will be until I actually finish this (which I started, by the way, in January 2006!!!)
And for those who asked, this will tell what a Magic 8 ball is - the ball of Lurve is just a variation with "love" related answers!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why hello there, teacosy stalker!

I know you are out there somewhere, just wondering exactly what my teapot looks like, what is a domed lid exactly, and how big is it really?

Well, are you ready for it? Hope so, because here 'tis:

(note: aeroplane not actual size...because otherwise, I'd be the proud owner of the world's largest teapot. Not to mention the world's largest loungeroom...)

Perhaps this one might help a bit more:
Just a bit bigger than the Magic Ball of Luurve!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

SHOESday: Laces!

No, not lace. Laces.

A SHOESday post by Catsmum's daughter Nadie last week inspired me to post my own lace up shoes. I bought these little beauties from Jigsaw in London (the King's Road shop, the old one not the new one) - as it almost always is, I couldn't walk away from these.
Such a cute little heel (a bit worse for wear... I really should have the heel thingy replaced) and an almost turned up, slightly elvish toe.
And since of course I always refer to these, in my head anyway, as ballet shoes, my best ballet pose!

Cue Sugar Plum Fairy music!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Call that a library? That's not a library!

About this time last year, I posted pictures of my knitting books. While I clearly cannot yet claim to have a knitting library, I have made quite a few additions...mainly thanks to Borders discount vouchers and the trip to New York.
Borders just needs to get some new books in...I've run out of things there that I need. At least in the city store. Perhaps I need to find one in the 'burbs.
Now my books and magazines cover a whole shelf of the bookshelf (last year it was about half).
I also have two folders (yes, one is a Buffy folder!) for loose/free patterns - these folders even have tabs and plastic sheets and everything! Now I just have to find the time to sort the loose patterns and folder-ise them...Oh yeah, and knit stuff from all the books!! Hmmm, maybe a new challenge is in order - once SSoS is over!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Some progress to speak of

There is knitting happening at the house of RoseRed, promise. But you know how it is, photos of a longer scarf,a longer clappy, a still unsewn up completely Beau, and a longer sock are just not that exciting. Well, except when it's a longer Pomatomus, because it really is, for me anyway, quite an achievement just to finish one pattern repeat.I had to change from my bamboo dpns to KnitPicks - I needed some pointy grunt to help me with the k2tog tbl parts! Still loving the yarn and loving the pattern - it's just not going to be a quick knit for me - but worth it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

SHOESday: the Manolos

Longtime readers might recall these...but they are so good they bear repeating!
My one and only pair of Manolos - you can read the purchase story here.

Today, focusing on the little details:
This is the inside of the heel cup - that's a little strip of elastic you can see, it helps hold the shoe on the foot - perfect!
And the heel - such a thin elegant heel, but perfectly balanced. These really are very very comfortable shoes, for a high-heeled shoe. And the textured leather - these touches all make a simple black shoe so much more!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Best blog name ever?

At one point, I was collecting blog names (pretty much knitting/crafting blogs, of course) that appealed to me - clever puns, funny names, not so clever puns even (I do love a pun, it can be good or groanworthy, I'll still appreciate it). Of course, in amongst the pile of crap on my desk, I've lost the list...but I came across a couple recently which I liked and thought I'd share:

knitasha von stashenskein - this one tickles my fancy

joy of socks - well, how could I not like this one??!!

What are your favourite blog names?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Lucky I make some notes sometimes

Going through my wardrobe last week I found this doily:I thought it looked familiar and wandered around the house until I found this one:I know they look the same so just to prove I'm not trying to pull the old crochet swifty on you, this photo will help, no doubt:I remembered making one of these but couldn't for the life of me remember making the other one. Lucky I still have the pattern book with my notes of when I made them...shame I didn't note the thread used or hook size, so the rest of this is a guestimate!

Runner #33 from Lace for Beginners published by Nihon Vogue, 1984 - this is actually a great pattern book if you are looking for crochet doilies!! All patterns are charted too, which I really like.
Yarn: Larger runner - crochet cotton #20, smaller runner - crochet cotton #40
Hook: 1.25mm (lge) and 1.00 mm (sml)
Time: Don't remember which I made first, but one was done 7 May 2002 - 8 June 2002 (that's pretty quick for me!), the other 22 December 2003 - 9 April 2004

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

SHOESday: Regalia for Feet!

Today another of my favourite pairs of shoes (well, to be honest, when aren't they a favourite of mine!). I bought these ones about 3 or 4 years ago at David Jones, on sale (hurrah!). I'm not a huge floral person (or animal print...hmmm, do I use shoes to break out of the box??!!) but I really like the flowers on these as well as the narrow rounded toe. And such a cute mary-jane!
So I couldn't walk away from these shoes - how can I not buy shoes with the tag line "Regalia for Feet" - describes perfectly how the best shoes can make you feel.

One of the things I love the most about these shoes is the heel - not your standard flat heel or square or round. Oh no!
This one is oval - such an elegant shape. One of the little things about wearing these that gives me much pleasure, even though I've worn these so much (the wear is showing on the heels, unfortunately) - each time I put them on I admire the shapely heel and the thin ankle strap and the colour. And the flowers always cheer me!
Perfect for a spring fling!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Timing is everything

Who would have known when I started these socks back in August that I'd finish them just in time for Husby's birthday tomorrow? Yay for good timing! And an example of what happens when I only have 1 pair of socks on the sticks - I finish them reasonably quickly (for me!). I mainly use socks as my bus knitting, and tend not to work on them at home, preferring to work on larger items or more complicated patterns. These were quite quick to knit - I like the 5x2 rib - stretchy and interesting enough to knit without having to be swapping the yarn back and front all the time.

Pattern: Spey Valley, from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush - cannot praise this book highly enough - I want to knit almost all the patterns in it! I did modify the pattern but adding an extra repeat, so cast on 70 stitches rather than 63 (63 on 2.25mm sticks just not enough!)
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Camouflage, 2 skeins (well, probably 1.5 skeins) - I really like this yarn but think if I buy any more I will get the solid colours as both times I've used the variegated yarns they have pooled around the gusset area. These weren't as bad as my Jaywalkers though!Sticks: 2.25mm KnitPicks metal dpns. I usually knit socks on 2.5mm sticks but decided to go down a size for these - loved the fabric I got with these sticks - very smooshy and not as firm as I feared. But next time, I might try 76 sttitches, these are a fraction tight around the calf although that was pre-blocked.
Time: 15 August 2007 - 2 October 2007 - pretty much got these out of the way before Southern Summer of Socks!
What I learnt: This pattern includes a "vikkel braid", which basically looks like sideways knitting, but obviously isn't. Very clever and a feature I plan to incorporate into other socks as a nice finishing touch (eg between the ribbing and the leg part on a plain stocking stitch sock).

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

SHOESday: double feature

I opened up a bit of a can of worms for myself last week asking for theme ideas - not because I didn't like the suggestions, but because they opened an internal dialogue about my reasons for starting SHOESday and ultimately my reasons for loving shoes. I mean, there are the obvious things - for me, shoes are a thing of beauty and, unlike many beautiful items of clothing, I can buy whatever shoes I want in my size - so while I can't buy designer (or designer-inspired) clothes, I can buy designer, or designer-inspired, shoes - and so I do!

It is often said that fabulous shoes can make an ordinary outfit look extraordinary, and I believe that. I'm also heavily inspired by the writings of the Manolo (not that Manolo!), who regularly advocates that no matter your income or occupation, you can, and should, always aspire to the superfantastic shoes. In his world, superfantastic almost always equates to (relatively) expensive, but he has shown you can find the very reasonably priced superfantastic shoe if that is what you are after.

I believe that the shoes you wear say a lot about you - although message interpretation is partly due to your choices (what you wear your shoes with, where you wear them etc) and partly in the eye of the beholder. With SHOESday, I am sharing a glimpse of me - but I'm in control of the message to a fair extent - so if you base your image of me just on my shoes, you probably think I never wear "comfortable" shoes, or "plain" shoes, or "practical" shoes. And of course I wear all of those shoes, I just don't choose to show them here - although that isn't to say that I won't, and just to prove it, and to fit into a couple of theme requests from last week, here are my most comfortable, plain, practical, black winter boots:
I bought these on sale last year ($60!) from David Jones, with the purpose of wearing them in New York in January this year - while I like to fit in to a city I'm visiting, rather than looking like a tourist, I didn't fancy trekking the length of 5th Avenue or wandering around the Met or the Statue of Liberty in my heels!! They are not the height of fashion but they did a great job in keeping my feet comfortable and warm.

So I can and do do ordinary shoes. In the end, I think you (and I) can see ordinary shoes all the time, on your (my) own feet, and on the feet of those around you. What I prefer to show are the shoes I consider to be superfantastic, for as long as I have superfantastic shoes. I work, so I have somewhere to wear these shoes. That won't always be the case (I do plan on retiring some day!) and I'm sure my shoe buying preferences will change somewhat as my life evolves (as it already has). But I hope I will always aspire to superfantastic shoes.

And I think these are my most superfantastic shoes of all (and they also fit into a theme request or two from last week):
I don't wear animal print as a rule but for these shoes I made an exception. They were ridiculously expensive but totally worth it. I can take on anything in these shoes (as long as I don't have to walk very far...heh!) and I love them.
I love the style, the cut, the elegant angle of the upper across the toes, the finely balanced heel, and the soft red shoe sleeping bag I snuggle them in before putting them back in their box after each wear.
And of course, the red sole. Everything.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Socks are gooooooooooOOOOOOOOO!

Have been looking forward to 1 October, planning planning planning, thinking thinking thinking.

Got my sticks (KnitPicks circs for socks on two circs and magic loop) and some lovely coral stitchmarkers, all from the very talented Donni (Knitpicks here, stitchmarkers here).
Got my sock yarn (enough for 36 pairs of socks. Or maybe 37 pairs, I can't remember now...)
Picked my first yarn (The Knittery Merino Cashmere sock yarn, in "Cherries").Wound it into a ball (or cherrycake). And cast on! Yippee

So I am love love loving knitting with this yarn - the colour is so fabulous and watching it change from rich red to burgundy to brown and back again is giving me an enormous amount of pleasure (more pleasure any non-knitter could imagine you could get from yarn, I'd say!). Although given my often expressed dislike for moss/seed stitch, I'm not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to knit a whole sock (pretty much) in 1x1 rib, which is, you know, just even moss stitch. Can you tell the pattern? (there's a pretty strong hint in the photo!!)

PS - SHOESday tomorrow (since it will still be SHOESday in some parts of the world!)