Friday, May 30, 2008

Ha ha ha

Ha ha ha, you are all too too funny being amused by my bunny girl job. Sigh. As if I'd have a picture of me in the hideous (except the pill box hat) uniform AND that even if I did, I'd post it for all the world to see (or at least that portion of the world that googles "bunny girl" in the hopes for something far more salacious)!

But I will humour you all (it's Friday night and I must be tired...) and paint a mental picture for you, to save you having to gouge your eyes out, which you clearly would if I did post an actual picture of me wearing this uniform...

Imagine this, dear reader who is easily amused by job names given by patronising male bosses in blokey leagues club environments, a uniform which is comprised of:

-one bone coloured dress patterned with red and green things (I can't actually remember what they were...little abstract things I think). The dress is entirely made of some horrible polyester fabric which does not breathe, but at least washes and drip dries in a flash with no ironing required. The dress is slightly a-line, has a collar and short sleeves, and buttons up the front. Yes, you heard right, it buttons up the front. The dress comes in a length which is very matronly, and which is prompted shorted by all the young ladies who are so delighted to wear it. You choose the length. For me, I think it was about knee length or just above it. For most of the others it was quite a bit shorter.

-one skinny red belt, which must be worn over the dress.

-one red jacket, also delightfully polyester. Also, I think, collarless and double breasted. Oh the delights of the jacket! In hindsight, the jacket probably would have been greatly improved by wearing the belt around the jacket, rather than the dress, but I guess that wasn't the look back then (thankfully, well over 10 years ago). And we probably would have gotten in trouble anyway. Most chose to wear the jacket even if it was too hot, to avoid having to walk around the poker machine patrons wearing (ugh) just the dress (and belt).

-one pair flesh coloured pantyhose - because they are always so flattering.

-one pair cream/bone coloured heeled shoes. Oh my, the trouble I had finding a pair of low-heeled (because who wants to stand on their feet for an 8 hour shift in high heels!) cream/bone coloured shoes. And no, I do not still have those shoes!!

-all topped off by the fabulous red pill box hat. I actually did love the pill box hat, although clearly everyone else hated it. Wish I'd kept that hat.

Are you all happy now?!! Hope you have a good weekend!! Don't have any nightmares now!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What about me?

I was beginning to think nobody loved me, until Sarah finally tagged me for the latest meme - either that or you're all totally over me blathering on about myself. If the latter, ignore at your peril, there's good stuff to follow!!

1) What was I doing ten years ago?
Ten years ago I was working as a lawyer (for the same firm I'm still working for...). From memory I was working on a big unfair dismissal case for one of our largest clients. The case went on appeal, so it was a matter that took up a fair proportion of my time for a year or two (or three). I wasn't married but I'd been going out with husby for 5 years. Both my dad and husby's dad were still with us, and I was living in a one bedroom flat in Kingsford (a suburb of Sydney).

2) What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today?
I don't even use a proper to-do list for work things, let alone non-work things!! But I do make lists from time to time, so here's a few things I'd like to do today:
-clean my teeth after I finish eating breakfast (which I'm doing as I'm typing this) - a pretzel, from a newly discovered German bakery near work.
-possibly have a look at a couple of my favourite stores, which are having sales right now. I'm going to try and be good and not buy anything, but if I find the right pair of black trousers, they are mine, all mine!
-cook dinner
-knit - I'm back on a clappy so I'd like to do at least 2 repeats, and possibly more of Pearl Buck
-unpack and pack the dishwasher
Sorry that's not very inspiring, but it's a weeknight you know!

3) Snacks I enjoy?
Oh chocolate - at the moment, Green & Black's Maya Gold is a favourite. Or Haighs. Mmmmm chocolate.
Also rice crackers and dip - one of those yummy chunky basil/cashew type ones, or hummous. Ooooh, and custard. I love custard.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire?
Quit work immediately. Buy a lovely but not ridiculously over the top house for me and husby, and my mum (her own house, if she wanted a new one) and probably each of mine and husby's siblings, put enough aside so that we could live comfortably and I'd have enough yarn money, and give the rest to charity or set up a charitable foundation or something. I'd like to travel too maybe and do some type of volunteer work but I'd really like to help out others.

5) Places I have lived?
My home town in country NSW
Various suburbs of Sydney including on campus at the University of Sydney, Newtown, Dulwich Hill, Marrickville, St Peters, Kensington, Kingsford and my current suburb in the inner west.

6) Jobs I have had?
The usual studenty jobs - shop assistant, waitress. A couple of more unusual ones - casual work in the academic dress hire dept at uni - that was great actually - worked on graduations, dressing people who hired gowns, hoods and trenchers for graduation (trenchers are the cap things with the flat board and tassel). So funny dressing girls who wanted "longer" gowns (there are rules here people!!) and who had done their hair up all fancy and so tried to wear the trencher on the back of their head - of course it is not going to stay on if you do that!! Also "bunny girl" at Souths Juniors Leagues Club - I prefer "poker machine attendant" but yes, they called us bunny girls. Thankfully the uniform did not involve fluffy bunny tails or anything of that nature. It did, however, involve the wearing of a pill box hat. Which was made much more bearable by the fact that it was red! Sometimes I also entertained notions of being a latter day Jacqueline Kennedy. Yep, there was a fair bit of day dreaming time in that job.

7) Peeps I want to know more about?
I think I am definitely the last person in blogland to do this...but if you haven't done it and you'd like to share, please consider yourself tagged!! I love hearing about everyone!!

Oh, and for those still looking for the "good stuff"... Gotcha! Had to say something to encourage you to read to the end...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

SHOESday: shoes for socks

We interrupt the regular boot show this week to show you my latest shoe acquisition - shoes for socks!
I've been looking for ages for a pair of casual shoes which will show off my handknitted socks - while I love the feel of handknitted socks, and so will wear them even if no-one can see them, it is quite nice to be able to show them off as well - they're too pretty to hide inside sneakers all the time (even if they are Converse!!)I've been on the hunt for some time for the right shoe for this purpose. They had to be a colour which would go with most of my socks (and not compete with them) and be casual enough to wear with jeans and also comfy, as I'd likely be wearing them shopping and other weekend experiences!After a few false starts (shoes not in my size, or great shoes but suede which is just not so practical in winter) I found these - very comfy, good with jeans, shows off the socks nicely - and green inside - pretty!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cause for celebration

I really should have had a party today, popped the cork in the fancy champagne and ate a whole wheel of my favourite garlicky cheese (boursin, if you're interested!). I didn't, not having any champagne or cheese handy, but I did manage to get husby to go out and buy me an icecream tonight. For he is now warm, snuggled under this finally finished garter stitch blanket - until today, my oldest WIP.
Pattern: Garter Stitch Blanket from Simple Knits for Little Cherubs by Erika Knight. I modified the pattern a fair bit - instead of 7 strips with 7 squares, with every alternate strip being the same (if you know what I mean!), I made it 8 strips with 8 squares, and the squares were random, rather than being in a regular pattern. I also added a border once the strips were sewn up with mitred square corners.
All up it measures 129cm/51" x 119cm/47". And I haven't actually blocked it yet, which I'll probably do tomorrow if the weather is good.

Yarn: Cleckheaton Machinewash 8ply - 28 x 50g balls!!! I fell in love with the orange colour (2243), and then picked the others to contrast with it and match our lounge and cushions. So cream (0050), stone/latte (1394), mossy green (2264) and chocolate brown (2252) joined in. Then I picked up my colour pencils and sketched out the design. I probably should have taken more time with it, but I wanted a fairly random looking design and I just don't have the patience to do detailed colour and pattern matching. If I was doing it again, I'd probably do mitred squares or log cabin style - maybe for my next blanky.
Sticks: 4.25mm bamboo straights for the strips - many of which were done in the car on short trips, using a little booklight when it was dark - because garter stitch is the easiest knitting to do when you don't have much light! 4.5mm KP Harmony Options for the border strips and mitred square corners - thank goodness for extra long cables!!
Time: Oh goodness! I can't even remember when I started this project! To the best of my knowledge, it was about January 2006. It could have even been January 2005, I honestly don't remember!! But I know when I finished it!! Today! So at least 2.5 years but quite possibly 3.5 years!!

What I learnt: Well, I already knew this but it reminded me how much I hate seaming and sewing in ends. I kept all the ends just to show you how many:Yes, that is 16g of yarn just in ends!! Oh my! It took me over an hour to sew each strip together and darn in all the ends! Next time, because I think there has to be another one, since husby has claimed this and clearly I need a blanky too, I'll be doing a log cabin style probably using Bendigo yarn. No seaming and far fewer ends!
Actually, I can't believe I'm already thinking about making another blanket, with this one having taken so long - and so many other things in the queue - I must be some sort of crazy person!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

SHOESday: an oldie but a goodie (again!)

Ah, another SHOESday, another tried and tested favourite, my old faithful red boots. I can't remember what year I bought them, but I think it must have been at least 5 years ago, again (as almost always it seems) from David Jones and on sale to boot (heh!)
I do love these boots. They are perhaps not the fashionable shape right now, and the toes and heels have some obvious wear (and they've been resoled as well), but I do love them, and wear them, anyway. I especially love the unusually shaped heel, and the colour - such a deep lovely shade of red. Oh, and don't forget the lining - purple (more purple than shows in this picture, which makes it look a bit blue)! Fa-ab-ulous darlings!

Monday, May 19, 2008

'tis the season

Clearly it is the time of the scarf for me. Here's the latest one finished - and I've currently got another 3 on the sticks, and I reckon at least 10 in my queue...sigh!
I've had my eye on this Noro Kochoran yarn for some time - just loved the colours, they looked so fabulous in the skein. And when Bells and I met up at Bowral the other week, I had a little Noro explosion and 2 skeins of this came home with me.Quite seredipitously (is that a word?) a couple of months ago Ailsa designed a great scarf using Noro (although Silk Garden) - I thought this would be perfect for the Kochoran. After an aborted first version using 6mm needles, I tried again with 7mm and a couple of modifications, and I'm really happy with it!Details
Yarn: 1 x 100g skein Noro Kochoran, colour 10. I was going to use both skeins, but then after 1 skein the scarf was 110cm and I thought that was plenty long enough for a scarf to tie around my neck. I'm really pleased with this length - 115 cm after blocking. No trailing ends to drag on the ground! I liked knitting with it as well, although there was a knot in the skein and the new yarn didn't match up - but it's not really obvious, I don't think!
Sticks: 7mm KnitPicks Harmony Options - made a lovely drapey fabric, really pleased with it.
Pattern: Choke scarf from Knitabulous - very easy, very effective pattern. I made a couple of modifications to make the scarf narrower and a bit more open - I omitted 1 stitch on each side, and also 2 knit stitches in the middle. I did a yo instead of m1 for the increases (as Ailsa suggested) and also slipped the first stitch on each row purlwise.Time: 6 May 2008 - 14 May 2008.
What I learned: Short scarves rock! And big sticks, big yarn - so quick to knit!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Many good goodies

I've been a very lucky knitter this week - lots of goodies in the mail and a few more bought for myself as well. Grab yourself a nice comfy seat (well, I hope you're sitting down anyway as you are reading blogs but you know what I mean!), a nice cup of tea or coffee or other beverage of choice, and prepare yourself for the pretties!

First up, a signed (yes, signed) copy of the Yarn Harlot's latest book, thanks to the wonderful MadMad! Thanks so much lovey!! Along with Amy's lovely surprise and Kim's lovely yarn last week, it almost almost makes up for not being there!! (Gosh I would have lot to have met up with you all!). And the card is perfect! How did you manage to get a picture of me baking!!!
Another surprise came on Friday - I was nominated for and won a prize for the Ravelry Australian Knitters Bag Lady Swap! Check it out - a heavy duty canvas bag specially printed (and huge - will hold much yarny goodness!) and 2 balls of a reddy/burgundy Lincraft cosy wool, which I've never used but which is great for felting, so I hear) and a cool yarny card.And the other side of the bag is printed too - perfect!And finally, I toddled along to Hope Street Markets yesterday with a workmate S (and even dragged husby along too). Very arty young crowd (also some stinky male art (possibly) students (probably) - soap people, use soap - it's good stuff!) and fabulous things. I could have bought a lot more, but you know how it is - I am trying to keep the amount of "stuff" I buy to a minimum. So here's what I got:
A fab knitting lino cut in my colour of the moment - orange - this is by Katie Muth.

A cool red riding hood zippered purse, by Lilypad Designs.
And a necklace made of what is kind of like laminated fabric on board - I don't think it's laminated, but it's covered in some sort of plastic or thin clear resin - hard to tell, but I kept going back to the stall, so had to have a piece - the green in this really called to me. These are made by the very alike Strutt Sisters.
Lovely goodies to brighten my week - thanks MadMad, JP and the artists at the Hope Street Market (which is on again today if anyone happens to be reading this and in Sydney and have some free time!). (And for those wondering, will post about the scarf from my last post tomorrow!!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Day in My Life: 14 May

It's that time again - my, it does come around quickly. So the 14th this month is a Wednesday, which is a work day - although today I worked from home, which makes work so much better!

As I didn't have to travel to work this morning, I had a little sleep in - which was great, except it did make it that bit harder to get up - the snooze button did got a workout, I'm afraid.

I don't always feel like eating breakfast as soon as I get up, but I must have coffee, so I put the jug on and had a couple of biscuits while I logged in to work and checked my emails. The second great thing about working from home is that you can go to work in your pyjamas - which is just what I did!
After an hour or two I made some toast and a nice pot of peach tea - mmm peachy! As it was warm I took my work out on the deck, where I stayed until lunchtime, when the sun came over and it was too glary (oh, how hard working at home is!)This is my favourite new thing - the blue internet cord. I love it! We have wireless internet set up but in the last few months it has been really patchy, just not working, or dropping out frequently. So husby bought the magic blue cord - it stretches from one end of the house to the other, and outside as well. Yay! Unfortunately, the computer cord not quite as long, so I had to be very careful not to trip on it!
I know technology gets a bad rap sometimes because of the way it has speeded up work, and made it harder to get truly away from work. I think that is true, particularly in some professions and industries, but for me it's more a tool to help me work more efficiently and effectively. At work I sit in an open plan office so when I've got a big job to do that involves lots of writing and concentrating, working from home can make my work so much easier.

Over my "lunch break" I finished off the last couple of rows of a scarf I've been knitting, and washed and blocked it quickly - the first time using my lace blocking kit! I should have threaded the wires through each stitch along the edge of the scarf, but didn't want to spend an hour on it! Hopefully it will dry by tomorrow so I can flash it at work!
I spent a little time planning out the document I have to write - I've always found it somewhat difficult to start the writing - at school, on uni essays, and so on - but once I get some words on paper, it seems to flow a lot better from that point, and it was the same today. I'd done the pre-reading and work, and the thoughts have been rolling around in my head for the last few days, so they came out ok in the end.

Made another coffee at about 4pm and put in a final burst before the news. I always work better later in the afternoon, so felt like I got a lot done - except for a (thankfully) short period when the two little girls who live next door decided to have a squealing competition, interspersed by the older one singing at the top of her voice and playing the recorder. I know this sounds intolerant but (as a confessed former recorder player in primary school) is the recorder not the most annoying "musical" instrument ever?! Oh my!

I promised husby roast lamb for dinner, so put that on once the news was finished - lamb and lots of roast vegies - potato, sweet potato, pumpkin and carrot (and then peas and corn towards the end). Yesterday I finished the first skein of the yummy Blue Sky Alpaca which Kim gave me, so while the roast was cooking I wound the second skein and sat down to watch my latest guilty pleasure tv (shhhh, don't tell anyone...) Big Brother. I know, it can be crap but you know, it can be good. The sort of thing you can tune out of when it's bad or tune in when it is interesting.

Served up dinner - carved the lamb very badly - normally that's husby's job but he was on the phone. Not to worry, it all eats the same, as my mum would say! And cut some up for Nelly as well, so she wouldn't be miow-miowing round our feet as we ate. Forgot to take a photo but it was delicious!

Knit in front of Spicks and Specks and then flipped on Foxtel to watch American Idol - they are down to the last three and each of them are really good - I'd find it hard to choose who to vote for if I could vote (yep, I am a total sucker for (most) reality tv!!). I think both the Davids will get through to the finals though.

Normally I'd have a cup of tea around 9.30 but not tonight. Husby bought me home a little bar of Green & Black's Organic chocolate - yum!! I just popped the last piece into my mouth! I'll watch the West Wing (I do love my Foxtel too!) and then toddle off to bed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

SHOESday: Surprise!

This pair is for Michele, who giggled last week when she saw my "winter" boots - being a Canadian, and used to snow, they weren't quite her idea of winter boots!
These aren't quite as loved as George's (although they are probably older than hers believe it or not!). I did have to fish them out from right under the middle of the bed and give them a dust off, they haven't had much wear lately, although they did do me very well on my last trip to London a few years ago - blunnies really are very comfortable boots (although I wouldn't sleep in them like George!).In case of any doubt that they are actually mine (not husby's!) those are my feet and legs in that shot above!And don't they look fetching with my Pomatomus/Child's First Sock in Shell pattern combo socks!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Well, if I can't go to Webs...

If I can't go to Webs, then Amy and Kim decided that Webs could come to me!

I was at home on Tuesday, when the mailman delivered a little box to my front door. Boxes from the mailman are always so full of promise aren't they - especially when they are unexpected!

My box had this:
And a note from Amy assuring me that she asked the Yarn Harlot when she was going to come to Australia. Apparently the person from the publishing house or her agency helpfully noted that the Yarn Harlot was going to the UK later this year! (you can read the exchange here) Oh well ... at least I've got a Yarn Harlot badge and a Webs bag and Amy's (and others) report - so I can pretend I've seen her!!And Kim very kindly offered to buy me something from Webs in exchange for some yarn I sent her (heck, I was pretty happy just to get rid of some stash!) and bought me the most perfect shade of red Cascade 220, and threw in some surprise Blue Skies Alpacky as well!
And the card is so totally me - knitting on a red loungechair with the dirty laundry shoved out of the way and the cat sleeping on the chair with me! Which is exactly what I will be doing for the rest of today!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

SHOESday: Boots boots boots

Well, it was inevitable ... the cold weather strikes, the rain won't go away, and so out must come the boots. Today's boots I like to think of as my witchypoo boots. The toes are somewhat pointy. And they curl up at the ends - which is not intentional, by the way - it just happens with a lot of pointy toed shoes/boots - because there's nothing in that end bit to keep them flat and the motion of walking and bending your foot just makes them go a bit like that. I guess I could stuff the toes with newspaper or somesuch but you know, it doesn't bother me that much.I quite like them with the stripey knee socks ... I might even wear them to work tomorrow with the socks. Does anybody dare me (because I really must pretend I am 5 instead of my actual age!)(Of course, I'd wear a long black skirt as well, so there'd be only the mere hint of stripes as I walked. But what fun! Who says work clothes need to be staid and boring!)

Monday, May 05, 2008

It's been a while coming

So this scarf has been a while in the making. But adding it to my goals list really worked, and now it is finished, just in time for this cold snap we've been having.Details
Pattern: Midwest Moonlight by Ivy Bigelow from Scarf Style. Love this pattern for this yarn, and it's very easy and effective.
Yarn: 5x50g balls of Jo Sharp Alpaca Kid Lustre. I fell in love with this colour when this yarn first came out, even though I don't really wear orange or have much orange stuff. But in the last year or so, orange is a colour I've come to really like, particularly as an accent - it really pops!
Sticks: KnitPicks Options, 4.5mm
Time: I had to hunt out my knitting diary from last year to check ... 20 September 2007 - 22 April 2008.
What I learnt: to pick the right yarn for the pattern - I started Backyard Leaves (also from Scarf Style) in this yarn, and it just didn't work, the yarn was too fuzzy and drapey for that kind of pattern, but for this one, it works great!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Spindle Socks, v.2

So after the debacle of the first sock, I fortunately had no problems with v2 of these socks, made for Kuka's CanAssist sock drive.Details
Pattern: Spindle Socks by Anna Bell - a great cable sock pattern - very quick and easy, thanks to the slipping of the stitch which you end up cabling - makes it much easier. And the sportweight yarn and bigger sticks helps too! If I was making these again, I'd probably do the legs one or two repeats longer, but I wasn't sure how much yarn I'd have left so played it safe and just did as the pattern said.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a gorgeous red - colour 340700 - 2 x 50g balls
Sticks: 3mm KnitPicks Harmony dpns.
Time: Leaving aside the time for the first unfortunate sock, these took 20 days - mainly knit on the bus too! Started on 1 April and finished on 20 April - yay!
What I learnt: Trust my instincts on gauge!
I hope the person who receives these truly finds them a warm hug for their feet. Despite the frogging, I really enjoyed making these socks and put lots of warm thoughts into them.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Keeping Track - April 2008

You know, I really do like this goals business. I'm not a very good do-er - you know how some people set their minds to something and they do it, with no hassle and no fuss. I'm not one of those people (unfortunately - I do admire them greatly!). So the list of goals really helps. It gives me something to aim for, and is a reminder of things I need to, or would like to, get done. And it's working! I've now caught up on everything, except one (my study...urk). And best of all, I feel really good about it. This finishing thing is great!

So I've put my May goals up - I'm not sure whether I've got the balance right - I might even need to add some!

And I've had a good month on the Stash Honesty front as well (primarily thanks to giving away some stash and also bulky knits - fast and furious! There'll be something to report on this probably next week!)

So for April:
In: 12 x 50g balls - including my first Noro and my eBay discontinued yarn purchase
Out: 22 x 50g balls - yay! my first month where I actually reduced my stash! 2 x 50g balls of special yarn for Bells, 2 x 100g balls of special yarn for Kim, 2 x 50g balls of special yarn for Miss J, and the rest I actually knitted up! Woo hoo!

So, this month, I'm -10 x 50g balls! And year to date - well, not great, but better! +22.75 x 50g balls! Yay!