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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Stitch Markers...

Anyone have any good ideas for making your own stitch markers? Currently I am using rings cut off the end of a drinking straw, but they are beggining to split and bend and not quite be useful. At the moment I am just cutting more rings off the straw as the old ones break, but I think I should consider a more long term solution.

'off like frogs in sock...'
...or rather I'm frogging my socks and they are not going off at all!
I wanted to magic-loop my socks-of-doom, but unfortunately my 3.5mm circs aren't quite long enough so I need to get some DPNs. If only I assembled my arsenal as listed originally :(

the pup - A quick pick of Pierre from the archive - we haven't seen much of him lately so thought we would incorporate him and yarn, just to relate it back to the blog :)
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bugger Blogger...

I just wrote a huge post about the week I had with my parents and blogger ate it... evil blogger, evil blogger....

First of all - perhaps this should have gone in the zoo post, but my mummy bought me this cool mobile phone charm. I have a thing for giraffes and aparently this was just too good to pass up.. I agree
The first full day (Thursday) with my parents went well, we headed down to the famous (or sometimes infamous) Bondi Beach, where I tried out my new, cute haircut (it is somewhere between Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Temple - I kept telling the stylist 'shorter, shorter') Due to the hot (spring) weather the back of my neck turned red (and not the sexy auburn red my new hair is, but that terrible bright fire-engine red - bah sunburn).

On Sunday we did Sydney's other famous beach - Manly. We caught the extremely crowded ferry across, tripped the markets and walked the foreshore, before taking shelter (in the pub) from the sand whipped up by the gale force winds. I'd never done the Manly Ferry before, so I tried to get prime position outside towards the bow (pointy bit of the boat for you non-nautical types). It was rather crowded, so I didn't quite get uninterupted sea-breezes, but the new hair got a distinctively different style due to the blustery day...
Most days started with brekky at the new outdoor setting - it got lots of use, and Pierre got to explore new territory in the front yard. Tuffers cooked us a fantastic BBQ the night before my parents left - my current favourite food is BBQ-ed corn-on-the-cob (it reminds me of 4th of July, not that I had this delicacy while in America, but it does none-the-less)

Monday was a rather quite day - Dad took Pierre for a long walk, while Mum and I enjoyed the peace and quiet (Tuffers had to fly across the country for work again). I have finished my
ISE project - well, almost - it needs a little blocking :) No pictures because I want to keep it a surprise until my pal gets it in the mail. I started my Simple knitted bodice with the silk. I really like 'working from the top' but the rows were getting rather long and time consuming before I took the sleeves out. I am getting rather annoyed working with the 'rock star' beaded yarn, but love working with the straight silk. I frogged a few rows last night, and discovered that beaded yarns are incredibly difficult to pull out... however I love the effect and really want to finish this top..

Unfortunately, with my parents being here I forgot all about SOCK WARS... I better get started or else I will just be sending a ball of yarn to my assasin... And I need to remember to keep them out of reach of the pup - he has turned into quite a sock thief of late, so I can image that hand knitted socks would just be nirvana to him...

Oh - and my addi-turbos arrived in the mail on Monday. Looks like work can continue with the cable jet sweater.. So many projects so little time.... Posted by Picasa

You belong in the zoo!

While the folks were here we planned a trip to the zoo - contrary to what I posted last week, (what - over a week between posts - you're terrible muriel!) it was a rather hot day.


As this giraffe demonstrates - blah!
(yes - for you non-locals, that is the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background - a zoo with a view!)



It was so hot that these little desert mongooses (or is that mongeese??), aka meerkats, had to hide away from the sun. There are two of the cute critters under there...


This tyke decided to do a spot of 'window baking'.. I wonder if he knows his underneathers are showing??

This was the highlight of the trip - the joey koala! I have never seen one of these in real life, so it was a real treat to see such a cutie. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sydney - sorry for the thunderstorm...

Okay - so the forecast for this weekend may be fine and 28, but that may change..

Inspired by the recent fine weather, Tuffers and I went shopping. On Sunday a brand-spankin' new BBQ was purchased (stainless steel, four burner plus extra for wok, hood with window etc etc)... and some outdoor furniture was browsed. Due to the fact that Myer couldn't order the set we were about to buy in for another month (this after we spent 45min in the store waiting for them to get their act together) I was given the order to drive out to the supacentre and find something stylish, sturdy and solid wood (Tuffers was out of town, so I got to shop but he provided the credit card...) I found a great 7pce setting, with additional umbrella and stand for half-price at Knott's Pine. Both purchases are being delivered tomorrow...

Now, why the forecast may change.. In line with washing your car, and going camping, I am fairly certain that purchasing brand-spakin' new outdoor furniture and BBQ means the weather will turn drizzly and wet therefore ruining any enjoyment in said activity. Throw in on top of that, my parents are visiting from Melbourne, and you can see why I have my doubts about the weather this weekend. Especially as we are planning to do Taronga Zoo, the Blue Mountains, the Manly ferry and markets, and the Bondi coastal walk. Alas - I have an umbrella, and we are all aclimatised to 'four seasons in one day', so I think we will survive and enjoy our outings regardless. Apoligies to the rest of Sydney if they don't...

In other news, I got my delivery from Sarah's yarns today. Tucked inside the yankee bag was some Jagerspun colour cards thrown in for free. Before you say "not more green" - I have to mention that I was really keen on Morroccan Blue, but didn't want to pay through the nose at some other retailer when such a great sale was on a Sarah's. So it was either olive, burnt olive or atmosphere. Being a red-head I had to go for the green over the silver. (aside: I have just booked in for a hair appointment tomorrow, and am considering going short [marilyn monroe-esque] and darker [auburn towards downright brunette] so that may become a moot point, although I think olive will still suit a brunette me better). I love the tilli tomas bag that came with the yarn (but is this what $US39 a skein gets you? A gimmicky carry bag?) The skeins look really teeny tiny and I am not sure I will get a simple knitted bodice out of it all, but perhaps they have mystical properties akin to a Mary Poppins bag or the Magic Pudding. But yes, the yarns feel divine and I love the beads in rock star. I now need to finish my ISE scarf so I can start swatching with my 4.5mm needles.

Update on the scarf - am up to the last ball of yarn. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have cast-off and be up to blocking...

The cable jet top is on hold - I am waiting for my addi turbo circulars (I ordered ages ago) to show up. I am sick of knitting on the bright green plastic straight things... Addi's - hurry up puhlease.... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I go to rio!

Only one thing to say - Hugh Jackman is wasted as a screen actor!

He was amazing - completely amazing. He worked the audience, ad-libbed, made prank calls and got a country lad to dance in front of 10,000 people. He was completely Peter Allen, and didn't once break character. Although the show skipped over a lot of detail from his life (it a musical, not a documentary) it still told the story. There was at least 3 standing ovations, one after 'I still call Australia home' (with kiddies singing in the bleachers it felt better than the qantas ad) half way through the second act. And I think even Tuffers admitted to having a little bit of 'dust' in his eyes during 'Tenterfield Saddler'.

Of course - it was so fantastic I had to take home a couple of mementos - A DVD doco of Peter's life, and the Broadway soundtrack of the show. It seems that there are a couple of songs different from the show we saw.

Of course - that's not all we got up to on the weekend. Another wonderfully sunny weekend - we spent most of saturday morning loitering over brunch at the Lane Cove mall, where Pierre made another canine friend, this time a Siberian Husky called Latte.
Finally - I promised a photo of my mail drop on Thursday - and here it is, a loverly package of Dale of Norway goods from Yarn Barn. Lucky, lucky me, another project awaiting in the wind. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 14, 2006

oooh.. delivery!

I got home today to find a package sitting at the front door - it was my order from yarn barn of the pattern and yarn for the lady-bug sweater... pics tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Stash enhancement...

I am a very bad bad girl....

Sarah's Yarns is having a big sell out of all their tilli tomas yarns due to a bit of a dispute.... after hearing the news on sarah's blog I headed over that way to check it out. Low and behold, speciality yarns are approx $US25 a skein(compared to $US39 elsewhere) and the pure and simple silk is $US20 a skein (also up to $US30 elsewhere). I had a bit of a hiccup when trying to check out - the site is only set up for US orders, but a few quick emails and I have enough Tilli Tomas on my way to make a Sexy Knitted Bodice.

Sarah's Yarns also have great specials on Jaggerspun (and the Jaggerspun is there to stay)... so there is really only one thing left to say..

GET THEE TO SARAH'S YARNS.... MAKE HASTE, MAKE HASTE!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Yarn snob strikes again!

Now this may be a little hard to see, but this is Pierre helping me to showcase the yarn I bought for my ISE3 pal. Yesterday Tuffers and I went out for breakfast and to do a little shopping and when we got home we discovered the problem child had got out of the bathroom and into the yarn stash. So I guess I can say the yarn is an incredibly soft fine merino and it is 100% Pierre Endorsed.
Here he is before we went out - looking incredibly cute and innocent. It is due to the rain that the pup was left at home - a great day for sitting inside the cafe (because the al fresco area was flooded) which means the pup had to stay home. Was also a great day for knitting. Yes, incase you are wondering that is my Jet lace panel jumper. I have been wearing to and from work every day since completion, and wore it (nearly) all weekend. It is due for a wash...
...Which is what Pierre had tonight. The tyke had a bit of an accident, and there was no way he was sleeping in my bed without a bath (I know, spoiled dog, but Tuffers headed across the county this morning). Sorry for the inclusion of my less than pedicured tootsies - He goes a tad bit psycho after the bath and I took an awful lot of photos of tails, paws and blank floor space before I bribed him to sit still with a treat while I took the photo.
Finally - a bit of knitting. I dragged out the pieces from the Hanne Falkenberg Mermaid jacket, and finished the i-cords on the sleeve cuffs. I have sewn one sleeve in and the other will be completed tomorrow night at pub-knitting. I really love this pattern. It is worked side to side in garter, so there is very little finishing left. The appearance of 'tailoring' is created by the use of short rows and by changing colours. I bought this in a kit from cucumberpatch, and have decided that I am not a huge fan of the wool - it is a 4-ply shetland and it feels a bit rough in comparison to all the alpaca and superfine merino I have been working with lately. However, I think using a less coarse yarn would compromise on the shaping. Tuffers really likes this jacket and has been after me to finish it for ages (I started last november and put it away over summer and just didn't get it out again) so I am hoping it gets a little softer after a wash or two.

I also spent my lunch break working on my ISE3 scarf. Sorry, no photos - I am trying to keep the pattern a surprise. I did spend a bit of time working out cast on numbers etc, because I am bastardising a pattern used in another garment that I really like for the scarf. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Who's a spoiled GF?

ME!

Last night Tuffers anounced as a complete surprize, that he had tickets to see Ben Folds and the Sydney Symphony at the Opera House. We started off the night with a romantic dinner at Guillaume - though expensive, the food was delish, they served us before the show started, we had a table with bridge views, and best of all, you got to experience the architecture of the opera house from inside.

Ben Folds was amazing - he is so awkward and nerdy when walking on and off the stage, but once he has that piano the plays so gracefully, and so energetically (he stands up to bang out some of the numbers). I have been a fan since high school, and I love all of his music, but the highlight for me was 'Stephen's last night in town' with the full 80 piece orchestra. I felt like my whole life I had only heard the shadow of the song, and finally I was hearing the real thing.

Following the show we went to Lenin for cocktails. Though nowhere near as funky as the Gin Palace (lets face it, the Gin Palace IS, while everything else is just imitation), once you accept that you are in Sydney, the fact that it is a little too try hard is easy to excuse (yes, I am a victorian by birth :)

It was quite possibly the most romantic date Tuffers and I have been on since we moved in together. I'm so lucky to have such a great man.

Stitch'n'Bitch



Keen to find the S'nBs operating around Sydney, this morning I ventured out to Gordon to find Rubi and Lana. I have been meaning to find this LYS since reading about it in the August Notebook: magazine - and I have to say I am sorry I didn't find it earlier. There was a lot of yarn in stock I have only seen on the internet - Lorna Lace, Dale of Norway, OnLine... and Lantern Moon and Addi Turbo needles... oh my!
As well as all that, the display was fantastic (see left). I want a lifesize soft toy sheep just like I saw in the shop! I did make a small stash enhancement purchase, but it was difficult not to buy half the shop. I really needed to pace myself. At least I don't feel guilty as the S'n'B-ers get a 10% discount.

The s'n'b was small, but well worth the trip. It was great to meet Pamela - as with most Sydney knitters I had been following her blog. There was one other friendly knitter there, who was also knitting in Jet (she had great taste). Manager Paula was loverly as well - I recognised her from the notebook: article, and she was incredibly helpful and knowledgable to all who entered her realm.

As for progess on jet jumper #2 - see for yourself. I am nearly up to the armhole shaping!

This afternoon I sat down to attempt a little spinning. I still need a little 'user' troubleshooting, but got a little further than I did last time. Not so many kinks and knots! Was a wonderful way to spend a rainy afternoon (and the because the weather was playing the game this weekend I got to wear my green jet jumper) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pierre and Josephine

As you can see, the yarn snob strikes again to make a bed out of Josephine.

I still haven't sorted out fasteners for the front, but thought I may reply to a few q's I have recieved. Difficulties with the pattern? There were two. The first is that there was no overlap with the front panel so it tends to gape - hence the requirement for fasteners. The second is that there is an error in the centre cable chart for the back. One of the symbols requires you to cross over two stitches instead of one. It results in the cable being off-centre, or at the worst a travelling cable :) although compared to some mistakes found in knitty patterns its fairly tame.

Lots of exciting email today. Firstly I got an email from my ISE pal, making first contact, another from SecretPal9 to tell me they got my app, and one from Yarn Barn to say they mailed my order today - Hopefully I should have it within the week.. oh such excitement...

More details on Pierre - currently he is 4 months old and he weights about 1.6kg. Although he is still growing, he will probably never top 3kg. His shoulders sit about 20cm high. When we were walking on sunday an adorable little girl tried to tell me that he could not be a dog, because dogs were bigger than cats and he was nowhere near the size of her cat. She then kept trying to get his attention by calling 'kitty, kitty, kitty', which, of course, worked because he is a sucker for kids :) In case you were wondering, green is his favourite colour (his collar, harness and lead are all green, and I want to get him a metallic green dog tag). Tuffers had a moment of 'fatherly' pride last night at the vet when we were told that his 'testes had descended well'... however the pride then turned to horror when the next sentance was 'he'll be old enough to castrate next month, would you like to book him in now?'. Tuffers casually crossed his legs.... Aparently men don' t like to hear the 'c' word. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

what's on the needles??

For those of you wondering about the current project I'm knitting, there is a piccie of me at ssk on saturday a few rows after I casted on the jet aran sweater. I'm not too original- the second project from the same book in the same colour as the picture... if your looking for something more creative check out some of the other projects on the go at ssk - Lyndell's booties are very inspirational, if in the wrong teams colour ;)

For those who were wondering - the serial number on my singer is Y6427087. I haven't tried to get it back in working order just yet, and hence have not made any sock monkeys of my own. Tuffer's sister is keen to try to make on, so we may collaborate next tie I'm down here way (she has one of those new fandangle machines that use leckytricity)

Now, one final question - I know novelty yarn is a big no-no for knitting (esp for scarves) but what's the rules for weaving... for example, is one allowed to make fun fur cushions??? Someone suggested it too me (they would like it) and the jury is still out. Comments are more than welcome...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Graduation

Just got home from Pierre's graduation from puppy pre-school - we got a couple of cool prizes, including yet another bag of doggie kibble that weighs more than him.

Found a loverly surprize in the mail today - A book I ordered at the bead and scrapbooking fair. Completely forgot that there were a couple of stalls with cool craft books. This is my 'teach yourself to spin' manual - if I still end up with kinky yarn after using all the tips in this I will have to go and find out when and where the guild meets so I can get some professional help.
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Sunday, September 03, 2006

what a fantastic weekend!

Taking advantage of this fantastic weather yet again Pierre and I went for another walk today. Along the way we met our golden retriever friend from last week, Kodak. We managed to get this rather amusing photo of the two playing - I'll keep this one to remind myself just how small the pup really is.


Wearing 3/4 length pants required me to find some short socks and I came across this pair I had knitted at the start of the year but never worn (yes, they are made out of opal chameleon). I decided I wanted to try and make a pair of handknitted socks, but got rather bored just making a tube so turned the heel rather early. All in all they were rather comfy, so I may consider making myself some more socks (it is sometimes hard to justify when $3 gets you a pair of bonds socks)


And finally, I did sit down for a bit of weaving this arvo - this is a close up of the check pattern I am making. Sometimes it is hard to tell if you are making any progress when you are on the loom as you keep winding your finished work underneath itself so only a few inches are exposed. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 02, 2006

summer has sprung!

Due to todays glorious weather, I found a tank top and Pierre and I spent 3.5 hours having brunch at an outdoor cafe while he got lots of attention from passer-bys and I turn a slight shade of pink - yes, it appears we skipped over spring entirely...

After dropping the pup off at home I made my way over to Newtown to meet with the SSK for the first time. It is impossible not to enjoy time spend with a bunch of fellow knitters, even if they are complete strangers. (well, of course not anymore)

Those of you who are wondering, the next North Sydney pub-knitting night is tuesday week (ie, a week after next tuesday) all the details are with lisaG, but if you have any q's drop me a line.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Jet Lace Panel Sweater






So the lace panel sweater is all complete - this is my creative attempt to take a picture of me modeling it (tuffers is out of town for work, and I couldn't get Pierre to take the picture without trying to eat the zoom!) the one on the left is the infamous self portrait, which shows off the turtle neck, while the one of the left has been take in the mirror to show off the lenghth.

All in all am incredibly happy with how it turned out - just annoyed the the forecast for this weekend is 26 degrees - perfect for a day out and about, but annoying for those who have just finished a yummy new sweater! Posted by Picasa