Friday, November 30, 2007

Dye job - c'est fini!

Very exciting, and I'm thrilled with the outcome! But I'm afraid the only visionary delight I can share of the completed dyeing of Anne's yarn is this little sneak peek..
ann'es yarn sneak peek
Once I've returned the skein to Anne and she's seen the final colours then I'll share it - but til then, I must be ninja-like and stealthy!!

p.s. You'll notice the above photo is the same section I photoed earlier - it was the troublesome area I had to re-dye, but now it is fabulous, hurrah! =D

Monday, November 26, 2007

Quick NakniJuMo update!

Well we're 86% or so through November, the month of NaKniSweMo and my NaKniJuMo, and yet I am only a third of the way through my Hoodii! Oh noes! So with 4 days left of November I going to kick it into top speed and see how much I can get done!!

cphoodie armholes

This photo is from last week but I didn't have time to take and upload a current shot just at the minute. I've now completed both front of the armhole shaping, and I'm halfway through the back. So tonight I hope to finish off the back then do the shoulder/neck preparation rows - Anne's going to kindly show me how to do the 3 needle bind off on the shoulders, hurrah!!

So I think I'll get started on the sleeves until I see Anne next, that way I don't waste any time! Realistically I don't think Hoodii will be done by the end of NaKniJuMo, but given my high priority shawl and other gifties on the go that's not so surprising - and we'll SEE! MAYBE I will finish it!! *grin* Let's see how fast I can get my handies going - already my right wrist is sore - oh dear!

BUSY weekend!

Ohmigoodness! You know that feeling when you stop for a moment and ask "is it THAT time already?!" followed by "where did the last two days go?!" and finally "how did all of THAT fit into those hours?!?!" by which you answer the former two questions!

Such was my weekend!! And barrels of fun along with it of course :)

Starting on Friday I received a very exciting and so long anticipated I had even forgotten it was due to arrive! My Ravelry goodies!
ravelry stash
Ordered who knows how long ago, my shirt and buttons arrived in a mushy package and brought much delight particularly as although ordered online, the shirt is a perfect fit! =D
ravelry shirt
Saturday was a whirlwind of fabulous events! The spin guild closes up over the Festivuss break, so we all band together for an annual stock-take sort of thing. One of the perks of volunteering is, not only the tasty cakes and goodies brought along and the entertaining natters we have while catalouging and such, but the privileges of 'Free Reign' over the guild library for the break period! NO LIMIT on loans!! Suffice to say we all poured over the shelves - knitting, crochet, weaving, dyeing, macrame, embroidery, books, magazines, videos - you name it! I very happily came away with 5 titles to keep me occupied;
*Knitter's Almanac - Elizabeth Zimmerman
*Knitting Workshop - Elizabeth Zimmerman
*Knitting Around - Elizabeth Zimmerman
*Knitting From the Top - Barbara Walker
*Unexpected Knitting - Debbie New
I'm very much looking forward to snuggling into bed (well.. "snuggling" in the sense of only a bed sheet lightly tossed over me with the fan going full speed - it's been so HOT lately!) with these titles and absorbing all the wisdom and inspiration from their pages!

From the Guild I dashed past my lovely Mum's and on to Helen's fabulous Knitting Party - Hurrah!! =D
knitting party (2)
As always, such a fun time spending a few hours with fellow knitters! We all saw Helen's lovely new home and wished her well with a housewarming giftie of cute cupcake crockery (cake dish, server and mugs) and and matching 3-tier cupcake stand, complete with cupcakes of course! I completely forgot to get a shot of the complete gift set, but you can spy the 3-tier stand in this shot of all the yummy treats we devoured!
knitting party (1)
Ann was so generous with her time and helped Yin and I get our heads, and hands, around the Magic Cast on! Unfortunately I forgot to knit a plain row every other row and went full steam ahead increasing every single round - gah! Consequently, here's my little tiny toe seed needle-less and about to be frogged!
Will have to cast on again soon - these will be a Festivuss giftie *wink* so I can't wait too long to try it again!

knitting party
["HUH??!!" Michelle and Yin]

knitting party (3)
[Ann finally managed to grab a chance to knit!]

I couldn't stay too long at the Party though, as we had an EVENING engagement too! A firey evening engagement.. Bonfire Night! A delectable meal, excellent company, stimulating conversation - top it all off with the most gigantic earth-consuming bonfire you have ever seen! Here's a picture pre-igniting to give some perspective...
bonfire night (1)
Now that's a man, a fully grown rather large adult man on the right there, or his silhouette anyway. Notice to his left the FREAKING MASSIVE HEAP OF FLAMMABLE MATERIAL?!?! Well.. that's the bonfire.
bonfire night (10)
Now before you get all up-in-arms about safety and "isn't this Australia, home of the rapid bush fire?" yes, it is indeed, but the area was very well prepared with all vegetable matter removed and flying embers kept in control :)

There was one down side to the evening.. a somewhat unsettling wine label I happened across. When parusing the drinks selection I saw a rather engaging wine bottle...
bonfire night (12)
And lo, a dear little story on the back about the inspiration behind the name "Three Little Pigs".. or so I thought...
bonfire night
*cue horror music*
What kind of PSYCHOPATHIC CREATURE rears an animal, bond with it, is delighted by it's personality and character... THEN DEVOURS IT?!
Just think on that for a moment. Yes. Mmmhmmm. You're revolted now too, aren't you?

Moving briskly on to knitting content!!

About a month ago I was delighted to discovered Moda Vera had brought out a new yarn consisting of Bamboo and Cotton - hurrah!! =D I was very restrained and didn't snaffle several balls on a mere impulse and whimsy at first sight, but calmly and in a lady-like refined manner returned a week or so later to partake of the smooth, glossy, colourful treat that is Bamboo/Cotton (a name somewhat lacking in imagination, don't you think?).

The yarn itself however is not lacking, I find :) I've knit up a little moss stitch, cable swatch to test it out and apart from being rather splitty (you can see that at the yarn end in the photo) it is great and I love it!
Bamboo cotton
I'm even fantasising about a potential summer cardigan knit up out of it.. VĂ©ronik Avery's Dollar and a Half cardigan perhaps...? Or do my frosty-girl bones really require something warmer to ensure I'll get enough wear out of it.. An exciting prospect in any case! So this little swatch will be going towards my Festivuss creations, but SHH! I can't say anymore!! *wink and grin*

And finally today we went out for a delicious and picturesque lunch by the beach. Tasty gnocchi and spending time witht he family really wrapped up this super busy weekend just nicely :) I'm speeding ahead with my studies too, posting in my finished assignment tomorrow and getting started on the next assessment, phew! So now I think I'll hop into bed for some reading, knitting and relaxation!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Skoota's Fibonacci Thinking Cap

I promised F.O* details, and here they are!!

I decided spur of the moment and with little time to spare, as I often do, that I wanted to knit a little something for the shweetum! To give you a little context, the Shweetum Skoot is something of a Thinking Man, an Inventor, one of those they call an Ideas Man. He's also a science buff and lives with a constant insatiable thirst (can a thirst be insatiable or must it be unquenchable? am I mixing my metaphors here?) for learning new things and discovering quizzical facts and knowledgable treats. In that way he's very like Pa, which was why they got along so well and an extra added little facet of my love for him - he constantly reminds me of other treasured loved ones all the while maintaining a stark and striking individuality, such a unique person I haven't met yet!

In anycase, I'm getting off topic here.. too much smitten Shweetum talk, not enough knitting!! *ahem!*

SO, given the fabulousness of Skoota's mind, I decided he needed something to keep it nice and warm, to encourage and hug those thoughts as they are born into his brains! But I also wanted his head cosy to be equally thoughtful and scientific.

Aha!! Enter the Fibonacci Sequence! I had seen or heard use of the Fibo Sequence elsewhere in the Knit-O-Sphere at some point - perhaps stripes on a jumper? Or the spiral of a tea-cosy?? I can't remember, in any case I decided it was just the ticket for Skoot's thinking cap!

On the delicious Ravelry I found the pattern for the Ballee Button Hat, and from there decided to add the Fibo pattern by way of colour stripes. In essence The Fibonacci Sequence is a pattern that appears naturally in numerous living things - plants, animals, the spiral of pine cones, branches of trees - all over! It comprises of a series of number wherein with abcde... a + b = c then b + c = d and c + d = e etc.. So starting at 1 it follows : 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 etc.. and so do the stripes!!
fibo thinking hat (2)
[Pointy up!]
I carried the yarn up the inside of the hat, knitting with my newly adored Magic Loop method on the Options needles, size... uhhmm.. size 3.5mm? I need to read up on carrying the yarn, I'm sure there's a neater and more professional sparkley method than mine!
fibo thinking hat (1)
[fibo stripes! but hat too long, decreases to gradual - frogging time!]
I had to mess with the pattern, completely changing it really, due to my differing gauge, hat size and such - but made it essentially to match the design - little crochet loop on top and a button! Skoot actually came with me to select the button, I had such a hard time trying to find just the right one on my own! It's absolutely delectable, Skoot and I are so happy with the outcome - Pointy antennae up for the thinking, Pointy buttoned down for casual! hehee!
fibo thinking hat (5)
[Pointy buttoned!]
Now I must dash- I can smell cupcakes ready to come out of the oven!! *grin*
[If you look closely you can even see some cupcake batter I got on the beanie while taking the final belated shots tonight! hehe!!]

*Non-Knitters (muggles) glossary: F.O = Finished Object

Thursday, November 22, 2007


It makes me think of that term "bunburying" or being a "bunbury-ist" from The Importance of Being Earnest. Which of course, in itself has a whole other meaning here in Western Australia too, seeing as we have a whole CITY named Bunbury, not just a vague and distant relative of ill-health!

In anycase, today I went BILBYING! That does not mean exploring for Bilbies (Bilby = cute rabbit-sized Australian marsupial) although that too would have been fun. No indeed, today I finally made my first expedition to Bilby Yarns! Hurrah!!

I had such a fabulous time at the store, had a HUGE chat to the owner, June, and generally hunted about amongst all the aisles of goodies experiencing various levels of tormenting temptation! I had sought out the store today for some 4mm DPNs so I can start tackling some of my Holiday Festivuss (Christimuss Festivuss For the Restuvuss) knitting but also wanted to nab a copy of the Interweave Holiday Knits 2007 if June still had a copy.
holiday knits
She did! SO I happily snaffled up both the mag and a lovely set of grreeeeeeeen cassein 4mm double points - luffly!
clothing protector
I also picked up some brilliant and deliciously scented protective ingots to put in amongst my stash. I intend to have a large studio (and general house tidy up) in the next few weeks and want my stashed fibrey goodies well and truly out of harms way and OFF the menu of any marauding beetles and bugs who might come out from the cracks while I'm moving things about.

This year's Holiday Knits holds a couple of patterns I intend to include in my Festivuss Knitting, so I can't discuss them here of course - but there are some other designs of note that I'm in adoration of at the moment that I can rave about here quite safely :)

One of which is the Classic Teddy Bear, whom I plan to knit for ALL the little people I come across in my life - starting with the two little boys, Rhys and Bosko, who are new additions to my friends and family circle!
classic bear
I'm a big fan of soft toys but they have to have character. Not just mass produced, soul-less stuffies with vacant eyes totally bereft of charisma. This little chap has such an adorable face, and a real teddy bear body that a little person could hold, and snuggle and drag about with them - he has such a good feel about him I think :)

The Felted Messenger bag is GORGEOUS! I love the colours, the patterns, the style - the whole kit and kaboodle!!
felt bag
I wonder who I could make this one for? Not in time for Christmas of course, but it's such a lovely knit I must create it for someone at some time!!

And lastly the Huckleberry Ascot - such a cute little snifter of a scarf - barely there but would keep the wearer so warm I think!
A good sized knit for part of the Festivuss.. maybe I should consider it? I'll have a look through my stash and see what colours and textures I can come up with for it!


I have a finished knit to share! A tasty little item I've had to keep secret whilst knititng it up - a gift to my Shveetum! But now it has been gifted I can share all the juicy details - hurrah!!

But first.. I have to go do some errand running... Here's a tease shot though - of the frogging I had to do when the shaping turned out too gradual... *grin* What a tease!

forggin fibo

Monday, November 19, 2007


Some gorgeous photos we found - aren't they stunning!

gran and pa
Gran and Pa

Life is returning to normal and now it's a matter of talking with Gran about what options she has from here and helping her make those decision about her living arrangements.

Very dashing Pa in his Royal Australian Air Force gear during WWII

I want to send out many warm, snuggly hugs to everybody, real or virtual you will be getting lovely warm fuzzies sent your way from me in thanks for all the kind thoughts and caring messages I've received from you all.

It really makes these things a bit softer knowing there are lovely people out in the world :)

p.s. I'm still looking for a way to reply to people's comments by email - and I know I had some suggestions from people a few months back (but I've forgotten!) - any hot tips for free and reliable ways to do this?

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Pa

This week past has been quite difficult for my family as my Pa (paternal grandad) passed away.

The family are doing fine, getting through each day and dealing with all that comes with a circumstance such as this. For my Gran having now come upon a time when her husband of sixty years is no longer with her, it will be especially hard - but we are, of course, all banding around her, giving support to one another and celebrating Pa in our memories of times with him, his loud and raucous laughter (my Gran heard laugh before she even met him, and asked of her friends "who is that?!" after hearing it across the ballroom!), his gentle heart and vibrant love of life and nature.

So I'd like to share with you part of what I spoke at the funeral - to give you a bit of insight into the incredible man I was lucky enough to have as my Pa for 24 years :)

This story epitomises o me who Pa was and how he inspired me, and so many others. He delighted in nature, in the wonder of all things simple ye magical - and shared that joy with others.

I was about 12 or so at the time, Pa and I were driving home from somewhere or other along the edge of the golf course he used to frequent. All of a sudden Pa pulled off the road, mounted the kerb and parked on the nature strip there!

Abandonning the car we set off at a cracking pace. Pa, at that time a spritely 73 year old, nimbly vaulted the fence and I clumsily followed. We strode off through the bushy scrub there at the edge of the golf course.

You see, as Pa was a regular there he was well acquainted with all the natural goodies and wonders in that area just waiting to be explored!

This particular day he led me to the spot where a colony of bees had built the most ginormous and magnificent of hives. He explained to me how the hive worked, why the bees would have chosen that particular spot and so on, educating me to the natural intricacies and amazements of the world, inspiring me to always look for wonder in ordinary things, peeking under the surface to find what fabulous discoveries are there just waiting to delight an inquisitive mind.


We will miss Pa, but we will have him in our hearts always and we will see him and hear his voice in every interesting fact we discovery or natural wonder we see.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Howling Wolf

Mum and I experienced a shiny Champers the other day and I want to share it with you all because it was SO delicious!
Howling Wolf
Howling Wolves is the winery - how can you go wrong with a name like that?! A small winery in the South West here that really put a lot of soul into their wines rather than pumping out tonnes of grog that's a little bit rubbish.

Unfortunately that makes them a little bit hard to find, seeing as they don't make a whole bunch each year. But I tell you what, it's worth hunting it down :)
Don't be alarmed by the unusual bottle top...
bottle top!
A very tasty drop indeed.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Green Thumbs of Destruction

As much as I'd like to get cracking on my knitting today.. I am being SUCH a good girl and staying focussed!
*insipid beaming grin*
My studies are zooming along and I'm about to don my work-gear and get out in the garden to get stuck in to the bloody lawn grubs that have taken up residence in our GORGEOUS lawn out the back!! It's so distressing! Patches of dead grass are spreading out as the little larvae b*st*rds get stuck in chomping away!!

But I'VE got something to fix THAT!
*dum dum daaaaaaah*
Beetle Destroyer
hehehe So I'm off to mow the lawns, then apply the spray, then maybe trim the lawn edges.. do the weeds...

Do You NaKniJuMo!?!?

Yes, I can't believe it either - I'm on the one month mission with NaKniSweMo!!
Those of you who've heard of NaNoWriMo will recognise that NaKniSweMo was born from the fantastic NaNoWriMo plan of writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. NaKniSweMo is similarly bound to the 30 month of November, but for knitting a 50,000 stitch (or so) sweater! In my case, however, it's not a 'sweater' but a jumper that I tend to knit, being Australian and all, so I have affectionately started to refer to it as 'NaKniJuMo' instead!!

NaKniSweMo is the brainchild of the rather fabulous Shannon of Knitgrrrrrrrrl (it's more fun to say if you add more 'r's *grin*) and I'm SO excited to be on board! There's a support group over at Ravelry for those who are interested in getting in behind the scenes, but for those who don't want to troll through the forums, or don't have Ravelry invites I shall be keeping an ongoing update, and potentially panic-stricken sob-story, right here on mah blawg (also more fun to say that way). In fact I've decided to make Monday's NaKniJuMo days, seeing as the Mo at the end reminds me of Mondays *chuckle* Mo Mo Monday!! hehehehe can you tell it's past my bed time??

Oooh now before I forget I must clue you in on WHAT I'll be knitting in 30 days!! Well.. 22 days now, really... Now, it's sort of out-of-the-ordinary because I haven't cast this ON in November.. butbeforeyourunoffindisgusthearmeout!! The jumper I'll be doing for NaKniJuMo is my Central Park Hoodii!! Yaaayyy! =D See, i figure that even though I'm already 18% through the Hoodii.. we're already THIRTY PERCENT through November!! Does that freak anybody ELSE out?!

hehehe so there you have it!! My dynamic plan for jumper-tastica! *grin* Now, let's not forget that I have socks for Pa and Gran's shawl that I need to finish ASAP.. they will of course remain my focus, which is the added challenge to NaKniJuMo for me - The 'ju' I'll be 'kni'ing this 'mo' isn't even going to be my primary monogamous project!!!

And with that bombshell I shall stumble off to bed!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Truckin' !!

It's official!

I'm a trucker girl!
truck (4)
Today at 7:55am I had my Heavy Rigid truck test.. and PASSED!! Whaaheeeeeeeeee!

*happy dancings*

I am SO excited, as this is Step One of the Sash'n'Skoot Plan For Ultimate World Domination, and now I can check it off the list! Hurrah!!

I had decided that I'd back a cake to take in today - it would either be a Celebration Cake or a Comfort Cake. In any case, whilst cooking said cake (happily it turned out to be the Celebration Cake as we know!!) i crack in the first of two eggs and what did I see...?
Oh. My. Goodness.
This egg had TWO yolks. Yes, doubt me if you wish, but look at the evidence! ONE shell! TWO yolks!! *shudder* I tried not to think about it.. I mean.. a chicken's menstrual cycle, really, isn't it? I'm sorry to go down that road, I know it's not pleasant so let's hurry right along with some more truckie trivia!

The ones I was driving, and am now licenced for averaged about 16 tonnes and 12 metres long but they're like little sissy girl kitten *russian accent* to drive!! Everything air-assisted, power steering - lovely!

All i need now is the 'uniform' - my navy blue singlet and a pair of stubbies!!

p.s. The dye job went well apart from this bit
which lets the whole bloody skein down in my opinion so I plan to fix it up this evening with a few little dye tricks I might have up my sleeve... But that's all the visual insight I'm posting!It's still a secret!! *wink*

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Dye-o-riffic Sunday!

Several weeks ago the lovely Anne gave me a skein of Bilby Yarns wool to dye up for her!
anne's yarn1
It was very exciting but also SO SCARY!! Dyeing for myself is one thing, but dyeing someone ELSE's yarn?! The pressure was ON! Not that Anne demanded particular colours or was ANYTHING other than the sweet, thoughtful and kind friend that she is - but I was SO keen to make something she would love and TERRIFIED I would stuff up the colour mixing and come up with some murky terrible mess or colours that clashed and were horrible! How could I do that to my lovely supportive friend?!

So.. I procrastinated a little.. I thought on the possible colours... I decided I needed to get back into the 'Dye Zone' and dye something else before I turned my hand to Anne's yarn.

So I took a skein of yarn I had dyed a while back, Bendigo Baby 4ply wool, an attempt at red/blue/purple sort of mix that had turned out horribly. I decided I would over-dye this monstrosity which would be a fantastic warm up to dyeing Anne's!!

It turned out BRILLIANTLY and I am -so- pleased! I can't post any photos here because I'm planning to make a little something for scrumptious Skoot and I don't want him to see by accident! So you'll have to take my word for it, til a later time *grin*

SO it was time to prepare Anne's yarn. I caaarefully immersed the skein in water with a dollop of vinegar.
anne's yarn 2
And allowed it to soak.. and soak.. and soak some more!

When I felt it was sufficiently 'marinated' I gently squeezed the water from the skein (NOT superwash, folks, VERY scary felt-factor!!) and laid it out on my bench to dye.

Now I'm not going to show any mid-dye shots yet - I want to wait and present the finished skein to Anne at our next meet up! So no colour shots yet, I'm afraid, it would spoil your surprise, wouldn't it Anne?!

But here's an almost-action shot - with a couple of the colours mixed and all ready to go! The skein is quite happily out of the oven, steaming complete, and is relaxing in a nice cooling pot of water on the sink! Not long now 'til I can do another gentle squeeze and lay it out to dry! Whee!! =D

As you can see Chilli was very helpful through the entire dyeing process *grin*

Saturday, November 03, 2007


(cross-posted with Central Park Hoodie KAL)

I'm well into my first trial of the Magic Loop method and ABSOLUTELY loving it!!

I learned the technique by watching the great video over at - very informative, very free and very FANTASTIC!!
knittinghelp button
I'm so excited because i've been wanting to knit the Hoodii sleeves in the round, but didn't want to splash out for more DPNs. Plus then there's the worry that the DPNs will be a slightly different size (even though marked the same) than my knitpicks Circs I'm using for the rest of the Hoodie! So problem solved!! I can use the very same circular now! Wheee!! =D

In other news I've had a few things happen (Granpa in hospital I want to knit for) so I'm focusing on other projects for the moment and have had to put Hoodie to the side in my woven basket. It calls to me though sometimes, as I sit on the couch knitting feverishly away on Pa's socks or Gran's shawl - "knit meeee!! Finish up soon, so you can knit me agaaaiin!"
CPHoodie in basket
It won't be long Hoodii.. I promise :)