Tuesday, October 30, 2007


No sooner was my world sunny with roses than the computer CRASHED AGAIN!!!
So.. with my ipod only on a minimal charge, photos partially uploaded to flickr, and generally behind in my blogginess and ravelrising I was left again yesterday without contact to the computer age!!
Luckily I was able to organise the Magic Computer folk to come out again to see what was going on and it seemed we got to the bottom of it!!

Yes, the observant among you will have noticed I used the past tense.. "seemed"...

*more frustration*

This morning the monitor had another little tantrum but hasn't crashed as yet - thank goodness. So I'm hanging in there hoping it'll last out! Magic Computer man thought it was the graphics drivers, so last night we downloaded and re-installed etc.. but maybe it's the graphics CARD? I don't knoooow!! I tell you, it's an excellent lesson in not takign things for granted! hehehe And to be honest it could be a lot worse - so I'm really not having that much of a whinge-fest :)

During my few hours back online I did manage to pack it all in and get a fair amount of browsage done! Amongst my adventures I discovered the BuyHandmade.org pledge - which completely epitomises my current plans for Christmas! I'm so excited!!

handmade pledge button

I've signed up with the pledge, and will be making a lot of goodies for Christmas this year, including my cards, but for those gifts I don't have time to do or people I can't customise or create works for, I plan to purchase handmade goodies for them too :) Either from etsy.com or through oxfam or the like. Also I've been looking at other options - like donating to charity on behalf of giftees!
It's very exciting to see this idea has taken off around the globe,and that perhaps the festive season might be on it's way to a less commercial and superficial phase of existence! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Very Happy Knitster!

Well, I am just that at the moment!

I have a functioning computer back in the household which makes the geek in me EXTREMELY relieved and excited!! Plus, with a couple of support calls to Anne I've completed my first Sherman Toe for my pair of socks for Pa!! Yay!! =D

I'm super happy with how the yarn is knitting up - I was a bit worried at first that the needles were a bit big and the gauge was a bit loose, but now I have a little more fabric to analyse I'm happy with it :)
sherman toe
I found the Sherman Toe is a very easy technique (as long as I've done it correctly and not unvented it!!) and I think I'll be able to incorporate it into sock knitting for ever more - I can almost remember it through without instructions already in fact! So simple! Hurrah!!

My one hesitation is on one side of the toe(where I did my purl pick ups), the joins aren't as tight and yummy as on the knit edge - but that's ok, I might have missed a vital step, or otherwise simply have not pulled my yarn tight enough when doing the p2tog.. ooorrr... maybe I was meant to purl them through the back loops? Hmm.. on the knit edge you knit the two stitches through the back loops, like a sort of ssk - maybe the instructions left that out but you should do that on the purl side too? Hmmm... anyway!! Apart from that, I'm really happy with it!
sherman toe close
So now I can unzip my crochet cast on.. well, actually I'll have to unPICK not unzip, because I foolishly included the last loop as a stitch so I can't unzip! haha! Nevermind, I can unpick and then get cracking on the foot section!

But for now I must dash back to my studies I'm afraid! That's my knitster quota for the moment!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Fiber Age

Well, I've not been shunted quite back to the dark ages, or stone age yet - but i'm calling in the Fiber Age. See, at the present I am computerless and forlorn! We had to call out the magic computer folks to check out our system seeing as our broadband, fancy-pants general brilliant computer was taking a leisurely 20 minutes to load a SINGLE WEB PAGE!! *regains composure* So, yes, help was required. Unfortunately Mr Magic Computer man could not fix the problem in the $101 hour and a half he was there so suggested he take the tower home to test it withhis network - to isolate whether it's a computer problem, or our router/modem.
So there you have it. No computer. None. Zippo. I keep thinking i'll download that recipe, or print off those sock instructions... nooooooo! NO!! Not anymore I won't!! I've skulked into work to type out this post, but hopefully Mr Magic Computer Man will be able to return my computer, all shiny and happy on Saturday.. hopefully.
To fill this all to evident void in my entertainment and educational needs I've turned, of course, to Fibre Related Pursuits. This skein of 4ply wool has been my fabulous distraction from the current situation!


This shot was taken about a month or so ago when I dyed the yarn (with my new acid dyes - hurrah!!) and had brought it in from drying, to take a Pre-Reskeining shot. I LUFF dyeing with these sorts of colours :)


And here it is all skeined up again, colours mixed through one another to give a good idea of the blend. I like it very much :)
I've decided to use this super large skein (200g) to knit up some socks for my Pa (paternal Grandad) who's in hospital at the moment and could use a nice hand-knit pair of brightly colourd socks, I'm sure :) I plan to try the magic loop method and a sherman toe!! I want to knit them toe-up, and would LOVE any suggestions of how to do a dutch heel, or other such non-shrot row heel in the toe up fashion.
So, now that I'm armed with my print-outs of Sherman toe and Magic Loop instructions I shall log off and scurry home to study, clean, knit and be merry! Well.. as merry as one can be without technology at hand. Which in The Fibre Age I'm finding is actually just fine :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I can has funny

I get so much enjoyment and so many pure, wide and deep down smiles from icanhascheezburger.com I just have to share them sometimes. Like bunny rabbit here...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cats Love Sweaters

Whilst parusing the ravishing Ravelry I found this FABULOUSLY hilarious and brilliant pattern by designer Christine Landry!
cat jumper
Lookit him!! hehehehe!! Makes me chuckle every time I see this photo! Christine says "Cats love sweaters almost as much as they love sarcasm" *grin* I love it!!
Her site also hosts some other great free patterns like this little leliphong - or 'elephant' if you use their scientific name.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I think I have... I think I have...

Well I think I may have rescued my lace - I think.

I tinked back the purl row and part of the knit row til I got to the offending area - very blurrily captured here - notice how I've managed to use the macro setting to exquisitely detail the pattern BEHIND the stitches I wanted to show!! hehe oops!


But now that I've knit on something just doesn't seem right.. I think I'll need to sit down with it, in good lighting (not bedside table lamp lighting) and see if it all really IS ok :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

I had to share..

Little Poppett, Skoota's mum's mischievous little fluffy dogalog...
Poppet amongst the 'shroomies
Sitting amongst my 'shrooms on a Sunday afternoon!

King's Park Hoodii

I've been doing quite a bit of knitting on my scrumptious green Central Park Hoodii the last couple of days - I'm really enjoying the cables now I'm well into them!
CPH progress
The curves and coils have started to take shape and the further I get the more defined they are from the rest of the stockinette jumper body - like they're lovely vine tendrils up a garden wall.
CPH central cable
Knitting away on the Central Park Hoodii got me thinking about OUR central city park - King's Park. Perth is lucky enough to be home to the largest inner city park in the world. Yes indeed, at 1000 acres (400 hectares) King's Park is 15% bigger even than New York's famous Central Park - the namesake of our favourite Hoodii. Pretty impressive, huh?
CPH cable
My favourite feature of King's Park is that the vast majority of those expansive hectares are actually left as pristine native bushland. A surprising 86% remains untouched and wild, the remaining park is split between 17 hectares of gorgeous botanic garden and 37 hectares of developed parkland - complete with playgrounds, ponds and all Australians bbqs, it just wouldn't be right without them, would it?
CPH progress2
Now, although I'm a huge fan of this breath-taking country I'm privileged to live in, and clearly a keen advocate for King's Park.. I didn't in fact know all those Perth factoids - apart from the largest inner city park trivia - but gleaned them from the King's Park website, which is a fantastic resource for checking out the loveliness that is King's Park :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mountains on Fire!

You may recall a month or so ago I received a very exciting Parcel Pick-Up notice in the mail.. and what did it result in, the much anticipated, long-awaited fibrey goodies within the parcel that I so long haven't had opportunity to blog about...?

Three delicious skeins of Socks That Rock Silkie, in the Fire on the mountain Colourway.

Bask. Yes, bask in their loveliness!

It may seem a little odd that I've photographed them lying out in the sun on the airing rack, rather than in tight, twisty little noddle skeins as they generally arrive. Well, my lovely three did indeed arrive in twisty skeins, but when I took them to my Stitch'n'Bitch for all to, of course, fondle and bask in their aforementioned loveliness.. we discovered they were DAMP! yes, DAMP! Still a little moist from the dyeing process!! Can you imagine?! I had thought at first the yarn was just cold, cool to the touch - but Anne confirmed they were indeed delivered still moist! Hence the airing rack - I didn't want the yarn going mouldy or funny in the plastic wrapper or skeined up, so I think I've just about dried it out completely now :)

Aren't the colours just incredible??
I've been yearning after the Fire on the Mountain colourway for some time - since I first discovered Socks that Rock (STR). I initially was planning to purchase the medium weight or such but then I saw the silkie variety. Oh my goodness. The little subtle barber pole affect from the silk/merino mix - from the difference in dye retention of the two fibre types - it took my breath away and I was too intrigued to leave it be! So when I eventually took the purchasing plunge I had to go with the silkie - yum yum!

We've been having a great time lately watching through the dvd and vcr series of the ABC gem The Bush Tucker Man. Good old Les Hiddens has such fantastic adventures across the Top End of Australia and around remote Northern Queensland, camping out and exploring all the bounties and beauties of the Australian Bush - it's brilliant!!

Bush tucker man
So I spent a very enjoyable episode winding the first skein of Silkie into a delicious and juicy ball. I had shveetie pick which of the three skeins I should start with, and we sat snuggled on the couch with the swift set up on the nearby coffee table as I wound and wound and wound my way to this magic delight you see before you!!

Ta da!
FOTM ball

I did discover another little unpleasant surprise as I was winding the skein into a juicy ball though.. Not only did the skeins arrive with some moisture... but a KNOT as well!!!!
FOTM knot
I was most disenchanted but after grumbling to skoota about it for a short time I was able to melt back into the stunning colours and forget the discomfort of the knot. I just hope I can intergrate it into the pattern without any troubles of noticeable changes in colour variation when I stop at the nearest row to tie it in.. unless.. I wonder if I could splice it? Would it flet together nicely for the spit splice do you think? How does silk behave in those conditions...? hmmmm...

My plan for the delicious Silkie has been brewing for sometime also. I have always intended to knit the fantabulous Clapotis with Fire on the Mountain. Add Silkie to that equation and you end up with a delectable, soft and snuggle-tastic wrap - I'm so excited!! I hope to make quite a large Clap, like a pashmina style wrap/stole. I'll just finish up a couple of other goodies on my needles and then I'll be good to get cracking!! =D

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Coming up roses

The Bunker Bay Scarf is my project of choice at the moment and is coming up roses!

I've had to stop, un-knit and redo several times due to simply mis-counting and doing a 3 stitch knit row instead of a 4 stitch knit row - but I've got it together now I think ;)
Bunkerbay roses
I've done considerably more than this picture shows - I'm now at about the 1 metre mark (40 inches), and I'm hoping to get to about 2metres (80 inches) plus plaited fringe on each end.

I've weighed my scarf so far and it's around 85grams, so seeing as my cone of Ming was a total of 152 grams I might need to end up a little shorter than my planned 2m, but I think blocking it out will give a little more length.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Set back

There I was, happily knitting away on my Swallowtail Shawl - really starting to make progress and get into the lace swing..

I was cruising along a purl row, popping the stitches off the left needle, zipping along.

And then...


One stitch popped a little too enthusiastically and in a sudden PING a couple of other stitches on the left needle popped off too! OH NOES!
swallowtail shawl kniterror
The set back appears to have reached down two rows of lace at least, and I have NO idea how to remedy the situation by remaking the stitches and placing them back on the needles. But that's not for lack of trying - oh no! I looked at it purl-side on, then I checked it out from the knit side, tried putting the stitches back on where and how I thought they should be, gauging from the other lace sections that hadn't kamikaze'ed - but no.
swallowtail shawl purlerror
Sadly I think the only thing to do is to unknit the last few rows til I know where I'm at again. A set back indeed, yes? But at least I've put in a couple of life lines - so even if the unknitting goes pear shaped i can always just rip back (gently!) to the latest lifeline. *sigh* all that WORK! Nevermind, for now I shall un-knit and see where I get to!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Spinning on Show

This past weekend I had the delightful experience of attending the Perth Royal Show (a huge annual show with rides, stalls, demonstrations, prize pigs, animal judging, tooth-decaying showbags, dog agility, lawn-mower racing - you name it!!). Now, for some people the show is too busy, too crowded, too full on - and I am sometimes one of these people. I don't get into Sideshow Alley with all the games and rides. I'm not a showbag junkie either. What I DO enjoy is cruising around through all the animal exhibitions, watching the sheepdog trials, checking out the creative crafts exhibitions and so on.

In fact Creative Crafts is the very reason I was at the show this year! Hand spinning is the focus craft for the show this year, so naturally the Spinning Guild were keen to have people demonstrating our craft - and I volunteered!
show07 (11)
It was an excellent day - I sat in the Creative Crafts hall near the display of fantastic spun and knitted goodies and I spun for 4 hours or so!! It was lovely to see how many people were interested, and stopped to ask questions or explain to their children what I was doing. The set up was perfect - being situated in front of the glass cabinets full of all the wonderful items craftspeople had put in for judging this year - so MANY! I was able to use them to illustrate my discussions with people about the craft.

The added bonus of course, was that I had the perfect excuse to spend an entire afternoon simply spinning to my heart's content! I found it a little tricky to start with on the wheel they had provided. But Jean (guild President) and I played about with it, got it going and once I found my rhythm on the little wheel I found it a breeze :) By the end of the day I had spun up the 100g Spunky Eclectic Shetland wool I'd brought with me - Hurrah!!
I am SO happy with how it turned out! It has such an Ocean feel about it for me, this handspun. With the blues and whites, combined with that soft almost apricot pink -like a seashell or the sunset.
oceanic 2
I have a very special specific knit in mind for this one.. but after trying to knit it up as a singles (not plied with anything - just one spun strand) I found it far too thin. So I'll attempt to spin it on itself - by winding it into a centre-pull ball. That way (thanks to a SUPER helpful comment that gave me the idea - Thank-you!!) I'll be able to ply the outside of the ball with the inside of the ball! Yay!! I just hope I will have enough length of yarn after plying to knit up my plan.. I imagine I will though :)

So after I finished up in the Creative Crafts Pavilion I headed off to explore the rest of the show. First stop was, of course, the Wool Pavilion! Lots and lots of sheepies - wouldn't be an Australian show without a shedful of our woolly mates, would it??
show07 (3)
Oooh and how embarrassing!! NUDE sheepies!!
show07 (4)
The shearing contests were on, so I was able to catch a glimpse of them - very fun!
show07 (5)
Also amongst the Wool Shed critters I discovered a mohair goat - looking very much like HE needed to be up next for shearing! Poor little thing - can't even see where he's going!!
show07 (23)

I spent a lot of time wandering amongst the Alpaca, admiring their loveliness and crooning to their gentle faces - so adorable!!
So after watching some of the sheep dog trials with an appropriate amount of awe - aren't they incredible?! - I headed off home, a very satisfied and crafterly-content Spinner!
show07 (22)
I was too slow this year to put any of my knitter or spun goodies in for judging and show, but next year i hope to be able to submit a few things. The prizes are not at all the order of the day - they barely cover the admittance fee for entering items - But for me it's more about representing this field of art that so often is either misunderstood, misrepresented - or simply left out entirely!! I leave you with snap shots of some of the excellent items in those shiny glass display cabinets this year :)

show07 (14)

show07 (12)

show07 (13)
Pretty clever, yes?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Systematic Bunker Bay!

After 3 (maybe 4? I've lost count!) occassions of frogging or ripping back entirely I have now decided upon a SYSTEM to keep my stitches in order and pattern on track with the delicious Ming Bunker Bay!
bunker bay scarf
And it's working FAAAABULOUSLY! I'm so delighted with how it's knitting up - my only complaint? i don't have enough hours in the day to devote to it!!