Friday, November 30, 2007

The dreaded C word

So, in the last week or so, it has finally dawned on me that, yes, Christmas is coming. Not sure why this is such a surprise to me, as, you know, it happens the same time every year. Clearly I am in denial. Now, earlier in the year, I pretty much decided I wasn't going to do much in the way of Christmas knitting this year. And, I am going to stick to that - more or less...

Except for my MIL's socks:
(Lacy Mock Cable socks in Colinette Jitterbug, 3mm dpns. Hopefully won't run out of yarn...)

And a dishcloth or two, for one (or more) of my sisters-in-law (I have 6 of them - SIL, not dishcloths) (thinking about it, not sure why I'd give them to my SIL and not my brothers or brothers-in-law...or even my nephews/nieces. Maybe will give them to the boys instead...):
Plus another of these crochet bags, for my niece, which I've promised for some time (although since I haven't started it yet, completion by Christmas is not looking overly promising...)

And one or two other things - maybe...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Well goodness gracious me...

Well goodness gracious me, this is my 300th post! And I'm doing a me-me to mark the occasion! I've been tagged for a couple recently - 8 random things (which I did when it was called 6 weird things) and this one, which I don't think has a name.

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night.
I'm not sure that I did laugh last night. I was home alone watching serious TV and crocheting. Not exactly laugh-inducing material!

2.What were you doing at 0800?
Looking for my coffee mug in the kitchen at work. Almost getting cross because I thought someone might have used it (I hate that!) but then I found it (lucky, because seriously, life on this planet would end if someone used my coffee mug!!)

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Logging on to my computer at work (which I do and then I go and make my coffee!)

4. What happened to you in 2006?
Like Bells, I started a blog! And my stash collection. And my knitting book obsession. And I knit my first sock!

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?

6. How many beverages did you have today?
So far, half a coffee. I'll have another coffee this afternoon (usually at around 3pm) and might have a cup of tea tonight after dinner.

7. What color is your hairbrush?
Umm, I think it is dark brown tortoiseshellish. It's a Mason-Pearson hairbrush.

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
A cheesymite scroll from Baker's Delight. A recent discovery. I've always LOVED vegemite and cheese toasted sandwiches and so these are just perfect!

9. Where were you last night?
Home. Alone. While my husband was watching David Beckham at the Olympic Stadium. Hmph.

10 What color is your front door?
Cream and glass panels

11. Where do you keep your change?
In a little red change purse my MIL gave me for Christmas one year. My husband, on the other hand, keeps his in:
-a drawer in the dressing table
-a glass tray on the telephone cupboard table thingy in the kitchen
-his wallet
-his pockets
-my bedside table
-the windowsill in the bedroom
-the floor in the bedroom
-down the back of the lounge
-on the coffee table in the loungeroom
-on the hall table
-on the cabinet in the front loungeroom
-at the bottom of his computer bag
-in the console of the car
-in the console of the other car
-on the floor of both cars
-on the seats of both cars, and
-on his desk (probably...I try not to go into his study too much!)

12.What’s the weather like today?
Cloudy and a bit cool, although it should fine up later in the day. Predicted 24 degC.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
Homer Hudson Chocolate Rock. When I was at Uni, a friend and I tried to eat a whole tub each in one sitting (they are 500mls). Neither of us could but gosh it was good to try! A great pleasure of my life has been eating HH straight out of the tub with my dad.

14. What excites you?
Shoes; Surprises; Sock yarn; Sparling wine (Pop! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!).

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
Not particularly (I mean, apart from the regular trim). I would love to dye it though. Bright red. I think it'd be fab. But I'd have to cut it into a bob to carry that off I reckon.

16. Are you over the age of 25?
Yep. And glad of it. I'm a much better person now I think. And I've still got a loooong way to go!

17. Do you talk a lot?

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?

20. Do you make up your own words?
Well, I've always claimed Goober as one of my own, but I know it's used elsewhere! I probably intentionally misprounce words rather than make up my own, generally. You know, like sWord, aRKsk, that sort of thing. (Should I really advertise to the world that I am an infant?)

21. Are you a jealous person?
Yes but not in an evil way.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter "A."

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter "K."

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
Um, I don't even know how to find that on my phone. It's probably husby.

25. What does the last text message you received say?
From a work colleague to let me know her grandfather did not have a heart attack and that it was a false alarm and so she would be at work today.

26. Do you chew on your straw?
No! Ick! Ewwww!

27. Do you have curly hair?
No. My mum always wished I did when I was a kid and of course I always rebelled against that, as you do. Of course, now I know mum was right and I wish I had curly hair (Nicole K, why oh why do you always straighten your fab hair? And why dye the crap out of your hair too, while I'm at it!)

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
My weekly massage at 11am. I do have a great workplace (I do have to pay for the massage though!!)

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?

30. What was the last thing you ate?
A cheesymite scroll, for breakfast. If I get to work before 8am (which is when they pack the breakfast away), I grab weetbix from the kitchen here but I thought I was running late so I bought the scroll on the way.

31. Will you get married in the future?
Probably not (heh! Don't tell Husby I said that!)

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
I started watching Puberty Blues on Foxtel on the weekend but it was just too painful for words, so I didn't continue. Too too true about schoolgirls and too too sad.

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
All my friends, my fave bloggers, Jess & Casey from Ravelry, the people at Blue Moon Fibre Arts (squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! STR!!), Daphne from The Knittery, some of my work colleagues, Julia Gillard, my mum, my cat. Oh, yeah, and Husby. I definitely like him.

36. Did you cry today?
Not yet. But hopefully not.

37. Why did you answer and post this?
Why not?

And if that's not enought for you, feel free to read 100 things about me (which, in a complete coincidence, I did for my 200th post!) might need some matchsticks to keep your eyes open though!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

SHOESday: Anticipation

I wasn't feeling too inspired about a theme for this week - which shoes would I chose to celebrate SHOESday today??

I had a pair in mind. But then I looked down at the dress I wore to work yesterday (which I was still wearing at the time) and inspiration struck!

And for you, anticipation...what's in the individual shoe shoebags??

Here's a hint (well, there was a good chance they'd be heels, yes?!)But not just black shoes. No, not just another pair of black shoes. I love these shoes. Love them - feel like I'm just a little bit Chanel in these. Not sure why I haven't worn them for a while but am wearing them today. Weeeeeeeeeeee! Like an old friend.

Friday, November 23, 2007

RoseRed shawlette

On my birthday, I mentioned that I gave a gift to myself, of starting a new project with my RoseRed Wolmeise sock yarn, so generously gifted to me by the lovely and thoughtful Michele.

I had a few ideas about what I wanted to use this yarn for, particularly as the skeins are 150g (over 500 yds) and so I figured would be fabulous for knee socks.

At first I thought these...but realised the gauge would be all out, and I couldn't face the challenge of re-working the pattern (although I've been thinking about it since, as I still think this pattern would be great in this yarn, although I'd make them knee socks, not over the knee!)
Then I thought these...but same gauge issue.Then these. Although I figured I'd have a fair amount of yarn left over (which wouldn't be a problem, really, I'll always find something to use it for!) but that I'd be better off using the whole skein on the project, if I could.And finally decided on this - not socks at all. Thanks to Ravelry's yarn browse function, I found a couple of people who had made shawls from their Wolmeise sock yarn - and even one that made this particular pattern, which looked great.The pattern hadn't really appealed to me in the magazine (maybe it's the fault of the colour, not so inspiring to me). So here is my RoseRed shawlette, which is scarf-sized, really - the colour is not quite there, but was the closest I could get - there's more depth to the reds and overall it is less tomatoey-orange than it shows here.
And since I'm on a project bag jag at the moment, I figured I should have a RoseRed project bag to go with the project.Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends, to everyone else, Happy Friday - woo hoo, end of the week! A whole weekend ahead with no plans whatsoever! Hoo-Ra!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Miss F's crochet bag

A popular crafting item for me, this bag. I've now made 4 of them, with another one planned for Christmas for one of my nieces. This one is for Miss F, and was finished with about half an hour to spare last Sunday, before the gifting of it at dinner on Sunday night.

Bamboo Handle Bag from Candi Jensen's Hooked on Crochet.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cathay, 3x50g balls (exactly!) in purple (col 12012) (the colour in the closeup below is quite true to life). This is a lovely soft yarn, a cotton/silk/ack blend. A bit splitty, but somehow this doesn't bother me too much. Would quite like to knit something very drapey using this.
Hook: 4mm metal
Modifications: I made the bag wider than the pattern calls for (63 chain stitches rather than 49) and didn't add the macrame tassle thingy on the bottom. I'd quite like to, but if made the right length to balance the bag, it would probably drag on the ground.
Time: 6 November - 18 November 2007. Love the quickness of crochet!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

SHOESday: Hearts and minds

I'm not really a love hearts kind of person, you know. It's not my bag. Not even red love hearts.

But when I saw these shoes something in them called to me (and it wasn't just that they were at David Jones! On sale!). Then when I tried them on I couldn't say no. Well, my head was kinda saying no, but my heart, my heart said yes.
My best shoes to wear with jeans, goes with everything, looks fab. And I heart these shoes, I really do.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Beau for my beau

I had last Friday off work and was thinking about what to knit, andI decided that I really should finish sewing up husby's Beau jumper. I had only to sew on the second sleeve, plus do the side and sleeve seam and the buttons, and that was it. It had been sitting waiting for me to do just that for a couple of weeks - but you know, it had been too hot, no need to wear a jumper any more, so no rush. With cooler weather, a weekend away (with the prospect of a photo shoot in Bowral and of the course the recreation of the photo in the book), and my birthday, I decided I'd finish it so husby could have a present on my birthday as well.(If only you could have been there to hear husby worrying about getting a wet bum from sitting on the ground...he's such a manly man!)

And even though the weather warmed up a bit too much on the weekend for him to wear it much (not that I'm complaining, mind), he did wear it for a while, as we were zooming through the Southern Highlands with the top down on the car and the wind whipping through our hair!
Pattern: Beau by Kim Hargraves from Rowan's Vintage Knits. No modifications to this pattern at all - except to knit husby's initials at the bottom of the left front side of the jumper. It didn't turn out quite as clearly as I'd hoped, but husby still pretty impressed with his totally personalised jumper!
Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran in Thorny - just over 7 x 100g balls - managed to pick up the yarn from Janette's on eBay, just after it had been discontinued. It feels slightly harsh when knitting but softens so beautifully after washing, and drapes so fabulously. Husby was surprised at how light it felt.

Sticks: As usual, up a stick size - 4.5mm for the rib, 5.5mm for the body and sleeves. Used Addi Turbos.
Time: 25 March - 9 November 2007 (although I did actually finish the knitting in about September...just the sewing up that takes the time for me!)(if you look closely, you'll also notice he is wearing the first pair of socks I ever knitted!)

What I learnt: This is a very simple knit, so not much by way of techniques. But I did learn that this yarn is a b*tch to seam with - keeps breaking. As I am no doubt quite naughty and use my ends to sew up, it meant lots of breakages. So eventually I learnt that I had to sew in my ends and use new yarn for the seaming - ahhh, much better!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I am very lucky

I am very lucky, I pretty much feel it every day, but things like birthdays bring it home - especially when packages are received in the mail, some anticipated (some people cannot keep secrets!!) and some not. But all a lovely surprise.

So package one, from my friend Miss J, arrived last week (love an extended birthday week!). Some squishy soft Patonyle yarn in a really interesting grey colour - sometimes shades or tones of brown, sometimes almost lilac, it's just a really pretty grey. (And isn't the wrapping paper pretty).
And wrapped separately, a wooden shawl pin and unusual clip thing (the black sort of 3 leaf clover shaped thing in top right of picture). I figured it was a sort of shawl clasp thing, to go with the pin. But try all I might, I couldn't work out how to get the pin through two of the holes, so that it would all stay together. So I asked Miss J who laughingly told me the clip thing is a button! I'm such an idiot sometimes!! And I love the card: Make cakes not war!

Package two, from the lovely Bells. Yummy sounding tea (Stockholm Blend), a tea scoop (cool!), More Sensational Knitted Socks (check out those stranded ones on the cover. And the faux entrelac ones!), and last of all and most fabulously, a skein of Lisa Souza Sock! in Garnet.
I just couldn't get a good picture of the colour - it's redder than this but also deep and dark. And squooshy and yummy! I had it near my desk all day at work and gave it a little squeeze each time I walked past!
Package three, a big surprise when I got home from work yesterday, from lovely Donni! Red shawl and shoes calendar (am I easy to buy for or what!!) (although, not according to my husband, hmmm, why's that?!)
Yes, I am very lucky.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

SHOESday: I liked 'em so much, I bought 'em again!

Today's edition of I liked 'em so much, I bought 'em again (or, Part II).
I first bought the black version from Zara, in London - husby had to go to Belgium for work in late 2001 and one of my good friends was living in London at the off we flew, I stayed in London while husby went to Belgium. Glorious glorious time by myself in London - fab! The shoes weren't particularly expensive but looked great, were very comfortable and I was the recipient of lots of admiring comments about them when I wore them.About 6 months later, husby had to go to Singapore for another flight and more unimpeded shopping time (after all, that is what Singapore is renowned for!). And yay, I found a Zara in Singapore, with the same shoes, but this time in a yellowy-beige suede (and black again too) - and on sale - so I bought them again - both the suede and the black!The pair in these pics is the second black pair - the first pair having been worn out last year after 4 years of faithful service.(sorry for the blurriness - hard to take a picture of the back of your own feet, when wearing heels!) I do love the heels on these and the heel cup with the little open part at the top. Very nice!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lovely weekend

Thanks everyone for your lovely birthday wishes - I had a great day on Saturday, in fact I had a great weekend all up! One of my best friends, Helen, lives at Jamberoo, so we decided to go and visit on Saturday and stay the night. So we drove up on Saturday morning, via the Southern Highlands - and of course stopped off in every yarn store along the way (my husband is the best!).
First stop, Victoria House Needlecraft at Mittagong. Victoria House used to stock a reasonable amount of Rowan yarn (well, reasonable for a regional craft store, in my opinion!) but seems to have stopped stocking it. I grabbed the last 3 balls of All Seasons Cotton (half price) as well as the latest Jo Sharp Knit (vol 5). A pretty good selection of patterns, but not as good as vols 1, 2 or 3 (but better than 4!).Next, Wool Addiction in Bowral - this is a fantastic yarn store. I'd almost move to Bowral just so it could be my LYS. It's a house, with 4 rooms of yarn and books and the front room has couches and tea/coffee making supplies - fantastic!! And a fabulous range of yarn. So so tempting. But I was good and only bought some Patonyle (which I heard on Ravelry is being discontinued!!! So there's been a bit of panic buying (including by me...) - I'm going to make mosaic socks from the blue and one ball of the grey, and the other two greys are to go with some I got for my birthday, to make Cookie A's German Stockings!).
Had lunch in Bowral and checked out the other shops, had a quick photo shoot for an FO which will be revealed later this week, then headed back onto the road to Robertson. Stopped at the Old Potato Shed gallery. Has a lot of handcrafted items, including Mollydale handdyed thick and thin spun yarn (no idea what you'd call it) - anyhoo, thought it might make a nice rustic clapotis or other shawly item, so of course bought a couple of those - the colours look a bit muddy in the photo, but are lovely blues, greens and chocolate browns.Then went to Berry on Sunday - and of course to the yarn store! Sew and Tell has a fabulous range of yarn as well - a lot more than last time I was there. And has fabulous display garments (lots of baby ones especially) which give you the yarn and pattern info - a great selling point. But again, even though I could have bought stacks of yarn, I stuck to their last 2 balls of Patonyle in this colourway, and some reduced price cotton (dishcloths anyone!). And since I am now such an *excellent* sewing person (not!) I bought some fabric as well.

Hmmm, anyone care to estimate how long it will take for my fabric stash to rival the size of my yarn stash??
Speaking of which, husby bet me there was a fabric shop in Berry that sold quilting fabric. I didn't recall it so bet him a dollar there wasn't, and challenged him to show me. Which he did. Heh! He won a dollar (our usual bet, unless I am supremely sure of myself, in which case I usually bet him $1000) but of course it cost him a bit in fabric. He's so funny!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The best

Thanks everyone for your birthday wishes already!

Thought I'd share the best birthday cake ever...
This is a skein of the Wollmeise sock yarn in Rose Red (Rosenrot) gifted to me by the lovely and thoughtful Michele - as a special birthday treat to myself I decided to cast on a little something something, even though I've already got a few of those on the sticks at the moment. More details another day!But a close up on the fabulous colours - probably a little redder and more variations on the red but this isn't bad!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Friday, November 09, 2007


My winter 2007 IK arrived yesterday (the one with "Jennifer Garner" on the cover!) - some great patterns and some "meh" patterns - I was reflecting on IK and realised that with the exception of the embossed leaves socks, I haven't actually made anything from any of the IK's I have - not because I haven't liked things, it's just a matter of time, priorities and the lengthy queue I already have (not to mention a bit of a sock drive at present).

It led me to wonder whether, in 5 or 10 or 20 years time, will I look back on this edition of IK and still love the patterns I love now. Or will I just laugh at the fashions, at the hair and makeup, colours and styling choices? (and if the latter, how does that happen - has always fascinated me what makes us love something and then laugh at it 20 years later!)

Like I did recently at these:
Received from a friend of my mum's, who thought I might like them!
So much fun!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

But of course

But of course (thanks Amy and Bells!) I had to join:

No Guilt Stash Manifesto

I will neither defend nor apologize for my stash. My yarn brings me joy, and therefore brings others in my life joy.

Through my hands I do good in the world. I knit with love for friends, family, and strangers. Yarn is my medium.

I promise not to let my stash acquisition interfere with personal relationships or financial health; yet neither will I give in to pressure from significant others to reduce my stash.

I will not judge others' stash. I can admire it, be inspired by it, even covet certain skeins, but it is not my place to pass judgment on quantity or quality.

I recognize that stash management is personal. I fully intend to knit my beautiful yarns, but I refuse to be guilted into doing so on anyone's schedule other than my own.

I understand that it may take many years for a yarn to reveal its destiny, and that yarns that have been in my stash for a seemingly long time just haven't met their correct pattern. I won't feel guilty about this.

I also recognize that yarn can have many destinies. It can be a reminder of a special trip, a friend, a time in one's life. It can be comfort or inspiration. It doesn't always need to be knitted to fulfill its destiny. I accept that some yarns in my possession may never be knit by me.

I believe in the karmic properties of stash. I willingly share with other knitters, and I realize the stash, like love, will grow when it is shared.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

SHOESday: New Shoes Pt 2

(or, I liked them so much I bought them twice, Pt 1)

My shoe twin recently bought a pair of shoes recently which were just fab - fun and summery and inexpensive (weeeeeeeeeeee!). She was kind enough to share the shoe love and told me where she got them. I didn't get to the store until last weekend. Where I was most happy to discover the shoes were 50% off. Plus another 15% off that!

And so into the shopping bag they went:
And since they also came in black, and were less than half price, there was no need to chose between them:So now I can mix and match - if I chose - which I guess I won't...because that's like, the first step to crazy cat-lady-dom or something.Now if only this sudden cold snap would clear up, I could wear them..although which colour? Red or black, red or black, red or black?

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I joined an Australian-based tea cosy swap through Ravelry (hence the tea pot post last week). I've had a couple of comments from my (anonymous) tea cosy swap pal - most recently to look out for something in the mail...

On Friday I received a little envelope from The Knittery - just a normal envelope, not big enough to contain yarn which I might have ordered while "sleep-shopping", so clearly that wasn't it.

So I opened it to find this:
A $20 voucher from my swap pal - thanks mystery pal!! How wonderful, and such good timing - I'd had a bad week at work last week and so it arrived at just the right time! Ooooh, now what will I get...more sock yarn? Maybe some 8ply merino/silk for another clapotis? Or some merino/silk laceweight? Decisions decisions....

Friday, November 02, 2007

Some Poma-t love

I flashed a sneak preview of the Pom progress yesterday (did you see??). I've been working away on the Poms and things got a whole lot quicker when I weighed the yarn after finishing the second repeat on the leg.

Hmmm, only 75g left...I'd better skip the 3rd repeat and get straight onto the heel flap, or I'll run out of yarn (must remember to put digital crack scale on my Christmas wish list!)
(Yippee!!) I do think 2 repeats is probably enough. I like my socks a little longer (not a fan of knitted ankle socks for myself) so if I'd had enough yarn I probably would have done all the repeats, but I'm happy with this length (I wouldn't go any shorter!)I was really happy with my picking up of stitches for the gussets - such a neat chain edge on the inside (if I do say so myself!)And the heel flap and gussets look so good from the outside too.I've got about half a repeat to go on the foot and then it's the toe! Squeeeeeeeee! Now I just have to decide whether I will do the second sock in the Pom pattern...or if I'll do a complementary sock (am thinking Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern by Nancy Bush...what do you think - should I do a matching Pom pair, or a matching but not matching pair with one Pom and one Shell?)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sewing rocks!

Sewing rocks! Or, at least, it would for me if I actually knew how to do it, beyond the most basic of basics! Thank goodness for a clever machine with fancy do-dads (omg, did I really just use the term "do-dads"??!!)

My first sewing aim was to see if I could make a sock project bag, like the ones I'd been previously gifted by Jody. Even though I started out with a piece of fabric about the same size as the bags I have, I didn't quite end up with a bag the same size (seam allowances, who needs 'em hey!!).
But still, an end product which is freestanding: Fits yarn and sock in progress quite neatly:And best of all, has a buttonhole:A buttonhole - an automatic buttonhole! The only thing the buttonhole foot doesn't do is cut the actual hole for the button. OMG I love my sewing machine!!