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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Canberra pub-knitting

Heading down to Canberra now, and plan to catch up with a few of the knit-bloggers and their buds at the Lighthouse in Belconnen on Sunday at 2pm. I think Taph has spread the word, but if anyone else wants to join us, feel free. From what I can gather, there is a beer-garden out the back where we shall be crafting away.

I am looking forward to meeting these people I feel I know so well from their blogs!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

go buy some boobies

What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

boobies Mach II


All the boobrocks have sold, so Miss V has $100 US to help with her medical costs.

Currently I have mach II of the boobrock beads baking in the oven. The ones have a bit of a tan, so if, unlike me, you aren't a pasty pink colour - these might appeal to you more.

I'll have another dozen up in the etsy shop on friday, and again, if they go within a week I'll chip in extra to the insurance sucks fund.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

final sp9 goodies!

So, funky arty sideways picture... but these are the goodies I got from Raquel, my SP9 pal.

Kinda hard to see if you can't turn your monitor on its side - so here are the details:-

  • 2 skeins of yummy sunshine yarns - one with matching stitch markers (you know how much I love stitch-markers)

  • heaps of kool-aid (in the mesh pouch) to help in my dying adventures - just like I asked for.

  • Yummy cookies!

  • Some chardonnay salt truffles!

  • some buttered popcorn flavoured lip gloss

  • and lots more American candy (the "Take 5" disappeared very quickly - why don't Australians mix pretzels, nuts, peanut butter, caramel and chocolate? its soooo delish!)

Mucho enjoyment from this no-longer secret pal of mine.

And completely unrelated - first day of real work today. At the cafe. With real customers. And real orders. Went well, but I my feet are feeling the 8 hour shift - guess the last job, sitting behind the computer all day has made me a little wussy.

Miss V boobrock fund update - $US75. Only 2 boobrock stitchmarker sets left, and 3 days for them to go before I have to cough up bonus funds! I think I may have to make another batch!

And just in case you were worrying - I haven't been too busy to look after Pierre. He had to have a bath a couple of days ago - and didn't enjoy it very much!

Monday, February 19, 2007

What a weekend!

sorry, but all in dot points for the moment - hope to flesh it out over the next couple of days or so!

****Miss Violets boobrock fund :-

  • so far $US60 has been raised for Miss V from the boobrock stitchmarkers in my etsy shop.
  • There are four pairs left - get in quick if you wanted some!
  • Thanks to Taph, ChocTrudi, Wendy, Kate, David and anyone else who has linked to the shop or publicised the fundraiser.
  • All orders received by the time this post is published have been packaged and will be taken to post office tomorrow to begin their various trips around the world!

****Blue Mountains knitters guild roadtrip

  • There is a loverly pic on Kate's blog, and a cool debrief on Lara's blog about our adventure up to the mountains.
  • We stopped at the Wool Inn in Penrith along the way. There are pics lurking on my camera waiting for me to do an LYS review! Never fear, Penrith locals - although we all boughts lots of loverly knitterly things and yarn, we came nowhere near to emptying the shop (thou not for lack of trying!)
  • I succumbed to the beauty of new Paton's Shadow Tweed in autumnal reds. Because this is a new yarn I plan to write a review of the product (so far V yummy!)

****Canberra Knitters!

  • A Harlot inspired Knit-in-public is being organised by the Canberra s'n'b. Details are on taph's blog . Don't forget your socks-in-progress
  • I'll be in Canberra this weekend - I'd like to spend an hour or so meeting up with some of the cool Canberra knitters - is there a s'n'b on this weekend? or can we have an impromptu one?
  • drop me a line ginger_nut(at)bigpond(dot)com if your keen and we will sort something out!

****post goodies!

  • I recieved my final package from SP9 - Raquel, you're fantastic. Go check out her blog, and her WIP ink artwork!
  • I won a competition on the Shopping Sherpa's blog - and was send a great satchel bag full of goodies. TSS is selling these on ebay- i recommend checking them out.
  • I plan to elaborate on both of these (complete with pictures) soon too!

sorry for the slackness, but I want to post and am to busy to sit and do it properly!

Friday, February 16, 2007

is it a bit nipply in here?

Boobrock stitch markers to raise funds for Miss Violet are up on my etsy shop. If they all sell
Miss V gets $US100 towards medical costs.... Go get some nudity for your knitting...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

busy busy...

I have been busy starting out at work this week - the only way I could have more caffiene in my system is if I had it administered interveinously!

Apart from running off to catch buses into the city, I have been updating my etsy shop - I want to have a full range up because it seems a couple of podcasters are going to be featuring me on their show. Below is a peek of what is in stock! Listen to this weeks show to learn how to get a bonus.
I have also been sending a few emails back and forth with Miss Lime - and will be doing my bit to help out with the fundraising efforts. Here is a peek - I should get them into the shop on Monday.

Here is a progress shot of the polo shirt I am designing. It's glarey, but I am using some cotton I got off ebay to sort out the design stage. If the pattern works I will get some colours that compliment me a little better for a more refined version.

And here is my primary colour yarn, all knitted up in a funky swatch that will probably become a cushion. I have recieved good feedback about this colourway, so it will be in the shop - eventually.... probably when I start doing decent shifts at work and not annoying half-shift training sessions where I am being taught stuff I know better than the instructors (yes - I know, just a tad bit glib there, but I am sooo bored. I need the coffee to keep me awake during class!)And finally - here is a picture of Pierre, looking sweet, innocent and like he hasn't chewed the crap out of my headphones or the nose of my meerkat soft toy!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

rainbow yarny goodness

okay.. so Taph was right, and that golden yarn didn't start out as straw. It was actually some of that food-dyed top I posted about the other day...

I was a little creative with the food-dyed yarn, and experimented a bit while plying, and came up with this -
Which I am calling "primary colour" - not really gold anymore, but now rainbow yarny goodness, using yarn for an experiment usually completed in kindergarten. I love it - its bold an fun. I will certainly be recreating this one.

It looks like candy all wrapped up in the skein. I want to make up some more of this to put in the etsy store, but am unsure of the colourfastness of food-dye. I'll play around with this one and see how it washes - but a question for you experienced dye-ers - what sort of a dye should I use if I want to be able to guarantee quality to a third party (ie purchaser, client, customer?)

I also relived the kindergarten fun of mixing colours prior to spinning. May I present my secondary colours - orange, a purple-y mix I hope will turn out with a nice variegation (dye was purposely dripped on and not evenly mixed before zapping), and a yummy green. The colours aren't quite what are shown - I didn't get a chance to take any photos in natural light so there are flash.

Of course, continuing in the kindergarten theme, I look like I have spent the day finger- painting. I really need to get some gloves!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Rumplestiltzskin eat your heart out...

...look at the gold I can spin.... Okay - a bit of eye-candy for you. This is what went well today...

This is what didn't....

The yarn snob is alive and well, and playing with my yarns while I am out and about...

Those of you paying attention, that is my "Peppermint Cane" hand-spun that Pierre is hiding behind. What can I say - my hand-spun appears to be 100% Pierre Endorsed

And yes Pamela, that is a Tare Panda hiding behind the all-blacks kiwi.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

more spin

I had a little more fun with my spinning wheel today!

I plyed the left over of my green merino with some plain white I practised with earlier to make this slubby yarn I am going to call "Peppermint Cane". It's 52g of merino goodness.

I spent a bit of time at the wheel today, because I also finished spinning and plying the merino silk blend. I am really proud of how this turned out - the yarn is much more even - I must be getting better...

Here is a close-up of the yarn - I found the silk made it a little more difficult. It tended to want to stick to itself and create little slubs every so often, but I don't think it mattered that much :) I managed to get 94g out of this one - only a lonely 6g of single sitting on the bobbin still...

Now, for something very out of character.. a WIP that isn't green!

This is going to be a cotton polo shirt of my own design. I am using yarn I got for a steal off ebay - I think it is roughly a DK weight cotton. This will be in mainly moss stitch, with a hem, some waist shaping, set in sleeve and funky orange stripes across the chest. I am taking a bit of a chance trying to design this - its my first big work in cotton, my first time trying to get stripes to line up on set-in sleeves and my first time trying to write down the pattern as I go. Hopefully I won't get too many headaches :S

And Pierre says:
I can balance on narrow ledges, why should a cat like Lucy have all the fun in blogland? I wanna quote too...

(okay - a blatant Wendy rip-off, but P was being very cat-like today...)

Monday, February 05, 2007

adventures of unemployed gal...

I got up to all sorts of fibre fun today...
First of all, this is the merino silk roving I am spinning up

As you can see, it is a loverly green colour with some silver and deep blue stripes that spin up to a gorgeous effectI split this in half before I started spinning (50g in each bundle) so hopefully I will be able to ply it and not lose 25-odd grams like I did with the green merino (that's why it is a 74g skein - did you think it was a funny number?) I haven't figured out exactly how to get the Navajo plying to work yet.....

Now, onto other unspun wool...

When I first got my spinning wheel, I called up a friend (herein after referred to as Friend A) whose parent's own a farm and sheepies. I asked him if it would be possible to get a fleece from them after the next shearing (of course, I was willing to pay)

It just so happens that Friend A is doing a PhD (in carbon fibre, not quite the stuff you can knit with) and his office is in a building where lots of technical stuff gets done. In this building, a lot of textiles research is conducted. Friend A was chatting to another guy (herein referred to a Friend B) who does all this research, and mentioned that I was getting into the-spinning-and-weaving-and-making-my-own-yarn-and-fabric-thing...

Friend B then recalled some top, used for previous experimentation, that was excess and no longer required. He gifted this to Friend A to pass to me...

May I present my giant ball of wool...

(Pierre quite possibly is included for scale, but m ore likely is contemplating whether this would be fun to play with, or his imminent death - until today this was securely wrapped up in the garbage bag... but he is now acutely aware of the sheepilicious goodies hiding inside)

Yes - this is 15 kg of top. Scoured, washed, carded and combed merino fleece, of the highest quality that happened to have fallen off the back of some-one's truck.

As you can see... it is a tad bit white...

So I decided to play around in the kitchen for a bit... with a product I am sure has no nutritional value.... (The creative Celia passed these onto me after she decided she could no longer stand the smell. Yes, they are a little sweet, fake, candy, grape smelling - but not so bad. Perhaps they affected her badly whilst she was pregnant?)

I did a quick search on the Internet and found some instruction for kool-aid dying. I had seven packets, and I read that you should use one packet per oz of wool, so measured out 7oz on my fantastic metric/imperial kitchen scales.

This is what it looked like before it went into the oven - and on the right, how it came out an hour or so later... If I was clever, I would have read the packets a little more carefully and noted that the yellow packet says - ice white crystals, ice white drink - ie, will not have an effect on white top...

Inspired by this, I pulled out food-dyes and vinegar I bought last year during a very boring Easter long weekend. I pulled out three more oz of yarn, split it into three and had a bit of fun with the microwave. No pictures of this process - camera battery needed recharging, but here are the spoils of the day... drying on our verandah.

The three food-dyes are on the left, and the kool-aid on the right. I had no idea that the food-dyes would be so vibrant on wool. I will definitely be doing this again. There is a lot of white roving to be played with.... and perhaps it may lead to new additions in the etsy shop??

Oh - and that sheep fleece I asked for - Ness's parent's (who also have a farm and sheepies) came through for me. I have the fleece from the black sheep of their flock. Which leads me to my next request - I need some hand carders, and don't want to buy them new. I have been lurking on ebay, but nothing much has come up there. If you can help me out, let me know...

And thanks to Kate for her mention about the stitch markers she bought at my shop. Yay, my first satisfied customer.

PS - I won't be unemployed for long. My part time contract arrived today via express post. I start next Monday. Hopefully by then my fingers will no longer be blue - I may have to find gloves for future dyeing experiments

Sunday, February 04, 2007

my first skein...

May I present 74 grams of gorgeous green 2ply merino - hand spun by moi?

Last night I finally got my A into G to figure out how to ply - and I love the result. I am not sure what I am going to do with this, but right now it is a pet skein, to display, touch, admire, and show people... the loverly knitters that joined Tuffers and I for a BBQ today. The weather turned on for us - beautiful summery sunny day, and Tuffers was an excellent chef for us. His mum's cornchip salad recipe went down a treat (it really is good!)

We were joined by Ness, Lara and Mark, and Sally and David - they had such a good time that they stayed later than they ought.. I think I can see more knitters BBQs at our house in the future :)

Although Pierre needs a bit of a rest before the next one - all the visitors wore him out!

Oh - and for the spinning - I have already started on a new yarn. A merino and silk blend, in, you guessed it, greens :) I have discovered the zen of spinning!

PS - today is my last day of full time work, and I got demoted!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

bah - weaving ends in...

First and foremost - I finally got my Lisa Souza yarns!

I think Lisa worked all through the xmas / new year period dyeing and skeining up orders after a problem with stock distribution, so I am really happy to have received them.

I emailed Lisa to tell her that the yarns made it all the way to Oz, that I luffed them, and I would wax lyrical about them on the blog.

I ordered Sock! and Sock! Merino in three colourways - Gendarme (very regal - the gold is this is soooo gold!) Lime'n'Violet (to support their mike fund), and Violet's Pink ribbon (to support a woman / women with possible breast cancer).

These yarns are oh-so cushy and soft - in fact, they have that much bounce in them that the skeins seemed huge! - bigger than regular size skeins of sock yarn I have been hoarding (and I guess, technically at 4oz / 113g they are, but it shouldn't make such a big difference). I also ordered some Brittany Birch DPNs - these are nice and warm like the bamboo, but not as flexible. And no, Pierre will not be getting his teeth on these!

Of course - yesterday I promised pics of the newly completed (bar the weaving in of ends - BAH!) loopy mohair sweater.

First, is this pic of the front and back complete. This is where I learnt not to complete a 3 needle cast off while watching the men's tennis final. If you look closely at this picture you can see I was completely distracted and did the 3n-co on the wrong side... So I got to do it again the next morning...
Once I got this far, I tried to fit the sleeve in, but the cap just didn't fit. I re-worked the sleeve cap so that it was a perfect fit, and I could use mattress stitch as much as possible for hidden seams. I was thankful that I didn't have to rip back the loopy, because previous experience has taught me that it is a bastard to frog.

And here is the completed garment (look at all those terrible ends!)

It fits - and a damn good thing too! I did actually complete a gauge swatch / tension square for this - because it was fitted I thought anything a size too big or too small would make me look like an idiot. I ended up using 4.5mm needles instead of the recommended 4mm. Yes - I am a toit knitter, which means I usually use a lot less than the recommended # of balls, but this time I used more (must have been those sleeve caps I re-did). I was glad I went a-hunting extra totem, this is all that remains! (oh an half a ball of loopy)

I will post the stats once I have finished those darning those darn ends in.

I already have a new project on the needles - a design attempt in cotton...

Friday, February 02, 2007

return of the coffee wench...

I have been a slack blogger for the past week, I've been writing job application letters, running to as far a Penrith for job interviews and follow up interviews, getting job market tips from my career coach, and lurking on like a pervert on a free-pr0n site.

The good news, I have a job. It will do for the interim - part time barista, so enough to pay the bills, and I may have to knit up some of my stash for a while (yeah - lets see how long that lasts....) but the aim is to have me promoted to a full-time supervisor fairly quickly.

I have also handed in a couple of other applications, so I might still get a job where I can wear funky shoes....

And here are some great pictures I came across while looking up some job-hunting tips... I will just point out that I will be making my art of espresso from behind a very spacious bar...

In knitting news - I have pretty much completed the loopy mohair trim sweater - I just need to sew up the loopy cuffs, and weave in all the ends (all the other sewing is done, with 3 needles cast offs and mattress stitch no less - all so neat and tidy) A more detailed posts with photos will follow soon!