Monday, January 29, 2007


Monkey sock one is done

I really enjoyed making this, it's a fantastic pattern.

Although there have been some colour pooling issues (these are two sides of the same sock)

No second sock yet. I keep getting distracted.

It's calling me.

Can you hear it?

edited to add: Purlyarns now has seasilk in stock. This wouldn't necessarily be significant, but if you've ever tried to get this in Australia you'll understand (yes you could order it from the US but it's even difficult to find there. And postage costs a bomb. And it's nice to support local business). I'm not really into randomly plugging things, but I emailed Taryn months ago and she said she'd let me know. And she kept me updated. And I think that's fantastic customer service. So go check it out if you want to treat yourself :) Sqwee!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Give it up people, I've lost my sock virginity.

Rather surprisingly, these babies have not convinced me of the virtue of sock knitting.

I butchered three pairs of needles to finish these. Three! I kept snapping them, splitting them, bending them. I guess it was my own fault for using wood double points that bare a remarkable similarity to toothpicks, but still, three!

I suffered a terrible case of second sock syndrome. It's a killer that, hey. I had to wear the one completed sock for a while to demonstrate to myself the stunted enjoyment one sock brings a two-footed person. Then I had to keep it on to serve as a stimulus for the need to remedy this unnatural one socked foot situation.

And now here they are. But not on my feet (the tanned, shaved legs thing isn't really my style). You see my mum was visiting over the weekend. And we have the same size feet. And you can see where this is going. The socks were stolen from my clutches about 3 second after natural sock order had been established. Look at them sunning themselves up there! Ungrateful hussies!

All is not lost though. Last week's sock porn is transforming itself into monkey quite quickly. By Magic Loop. I'm enjoying this pattern a lot, I think that the lace pattern really breaks the monotony I got a bit bored with in the Jaywalkers. Maybe there is sock hope for me yet.

Pattern: The omnipresent Jaywalker
Yarn: Lorna's Laces shepherd sock in Gold Hill
Needles: Too many. Most in 2.25mm double points although there was the occasional 2.5mm thrown in when stocks got low.

Now I swear this title was here before this happened, but turns out sock-robbing isn't the only thing on the cards at our place. Our car was broken into by a pretty considerate robber. Yes, that's right. No windows were broken. Nothing was taken. We think the car was locked once he/she/they were finished. Apparently our robber isn't a fan of Radiohead (I actually think OK Computer is a great album, but I digress). All in all, everything you'd look for in a car robber. Thanks!

Clap for scarves

Well it's taken a while but I finally finished the clapotis scarf.

This was the only piece of Christmas knitting I did, so it makes sense that it would take me until the middle of January to get it done.

I think I'm a bit over this pattern now (that almost seems like knitting blasphemy, ha!) It took me twice as long to knit this scarf version than it did the other two full versions. But I like it. I used the Lion & Lamb I had left over from this and I think the yarn is great with this pattern (funny that.)

It's a bit short, there'll be no wrapping it around your neck a couple of times, but it will flick over one shoulder nicely.

Gosh I'm so sorry, it's all a bit boring really!

To make up for it, how's this for yarn porn:

Colinette JutterBug sock yarn in 'popsicle'

Makes me all hot and steamy...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Oh the agony

There's nothing much going on here. I had a bit of a knitting vision when I was looking through wrap style and decided I needed a cape. Every girl needs a cape. So I've been working on that using some yarn from my stash (I can't believe it either) but nothing really to share yet. I suspect it's going to take me a while. Damn cape better come with superpowers.

There's been some bits and pieces happening. I improvised these stitch markers a while ago to use in swaps and for Christmas presents. I didn't have any rings so I just wrapped the wire around some 10mm needles a few times and snipped off the ends. The smaller rings were done on 4mm needles but only once so they made circles. They seem to work OK, but I wouldn't want to use them with mohair or any very thin yarn.

These ones have been made by special request. I found the plastic rings somewhere and thought that would be easier that cutting my fingers with wire. They work pretty well, probably because they're plastic so they're light. Hope you like them Bee, can't wait to see what you need them for!

There has been much pain, frustration and anguish around here lately. It is, of course, time to vote in the Hottest 100. Do you democratic duty to music people, VOTE. For the record, my money's on Gnarls Barkley's Crazy for #1. But One Crowded Hour's a bit of a dark horse. If you're interested I ended up with:

Cat Power - The Greatest
Arctic Monkeys - When The Sun Goes Down
Pony Up! - The Truth About Cats & Dogs (Is That They Die)
Audreys - Oh Honey
Decemberists - O Valencia!
Grates - Inside Outside
Howling Bells - Low Happening
Regina Spektor - Samson
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Honey Bear
Belle & Sebastian - The Blues Are Still Blue

There's some Aussies in there (links to myspace: Howling Bells, Audreys, Grates) check 'em out if you haven't heard of them!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Winter warmth from across the seas

In my pre-blogging-lurking stage I used to think it rocked that relative strangers would exchange home-crafted goodies, especially when it was across generations, countries or languages. Perhaps i'm horribly judgemental, but I find the list of words ending the sentence 'I have little time for someone that's .....' is not as short as I would like. I realise that no one characteristic can or should define your interaction with a person, but I have very chippy shoulders. This is why the idea that you could invest so much care, attention, time, money and creativity into something for someone that you don't know seemed so remarkable to me. It really emphasises the lovely, generous, friendly nature of crafters and a solidarity that too often gets lost in (the endless list of) social, cultural, economic, generational and national divisions. It's a focus on what we have in common over the things that divide.

The whole swap thing is new to me (Bells was my first never-sighted swapee), but I had a fantastic time doing a scarf swap with Melissa. I'd been looking for an excuse to make the mistake rib scarf in last minute knitted gifts. I thought one ball of Noro was impressive, but two is even better (or three, this is kureyon colours #88, #128 and two of #147).

This pattern is easy, quick and brings out the colours in kureyon brilliantly. But most importantly, Melissa liked it and (I think) it looks fantastic on her! Swap success, no?

But I was only half way there. When I got back from Christmas holidays I had such a wonderful package waiting for me. I don't know how she knows (some sort of sophisticated cookie-stalking when I browse online yarn stores perhaps?) but she somehow managed to pick not only a yarn I was bitching that we couldn't get here, but the exact colourway I would have picked. She also included some soap...we ran out the day we left for holidays and the shops were closed when we got back. Freaky hey.

There were lots of other goodies in the package, knitpicks yarn (we can't get this either), chocolate (nasty woman), and a very hilarious 1964 edition of Needle and Yarn (which I will share later). But she also included some of her wonderful home-made gocco cards. I saw these on her blog and thought they were brilliant. I like them so much I don't want to use them. Ever. Get away from them!

Thank you so much Melissa. I'm glad we lost our (International) swap virginity together :).

Edited to add: the yarn is Manos del Uruguay, (of course!)

Friday, January 05, 2007

The year of the paintbrush

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you're all well and had a great festive season. I spent the last week on a beech in Queensland bribing people to fetch me a Pimms. Lovely.

I don't know whether it was the start of a new year or maybe just the reflection that comes when you step out of your life for a little while, but it was really...(I think) refreshing (is the word) re-evaluate the little things and remember that there's a big picture.

And oh my there's nothing quite like bobbing up and down in the ocean. I always forget just how alive and fresh it makes me feel. I must remember to swim in the ocean more.

I must also remember not to be so lazy. Witness these:

Inspired by the fabulousness of these (but without reading the tutorial I just found when I went to get the link - Arhhhhhh!) I decided to make some hard-cover needle cases. I like the roll ones, but they're kind of flaccid. No matter where or how I put the flaps the contents always falls out all over the place. Always. These ones look solid, sturdy, practical. Things looks stable.

So I thought about how to put them together all was going well, the cutting, sewing, ironing, etc. until I had to glue the front. I sat in the backyard, squirted on the glue and tried to use the nosel to spread the glue out. This failed. So I grabbed a piece of cardboard and tried to use that to flatten it out. This failed. What I really needed was a paint brush. But did I go and get one? No. That would mean I had to stand up. Yes, that really was my excuse. I am an idiot. Unspuprisingly the glue was a failure, and now the cases have big splodge marks where the glue was. It's not pretty. You can kind of see them in this one:

But you live, you learn.
Hurrah for 2007! The year of the paintbrush.