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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Good PR

I sent some of my stitchmarkers to Damo to say thanks for hooking me up with a pattern book - he has posted some awesome photos of his booty on his blog with some good PR for my store.


Click here to pop on over to his blog to check out what he has to say, and see those pics!

If you are keen for some of your own knitting bling don't forget that you can get a 10% discount and free shipping on all purchases until the end of June -  Remember to use the code LOSTMYMARBLES when you check out to take advantage of this offer!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mowm says tocolat isn't good for dawgs..

Yesterday I stayed after class, got a late train home, and grabbed a quick snack at the train station because it was going to be at least another hour before I got home for dinner. Because time was scarce, I grabbed a Mars bar from a vending machine - the type of packet had two 40 gram bars, and I only ate one, wrapped the other one up and put it in my bag to save for (later)Ron.

Subsequently, I had completely forgotten about the chocolate bar left in my bag... 

which Pierre's keen sense of smell picked up on when I was out of the house... 

... and I came home to find an empty wrapper...


...and the little guy led me to a smidge of candy that was all that remained of the 40 gram Mars bar I brought home last night...

Call to Vet:

Me>"Hi, my dog just ate half a Mars Bar... is that going to be a problem??" 
Vet nurse>"Possibly not, how big is your dog?"
Me>"He weighs 2.5kg"
Vet nurse>"Ummmm.... can you hold while I check with the vet?"

hold music

Vet nurse>"Ummm... in a dog that small it could be a lethal dose. Can you bring him in???"

Of course - as chocolate doesn't present a threat to dogs until it passes through the digestive system and liver failure etc happens, Pierre was acting as if nothing was going on.... 

P thought it was a grand adventure - the harness and lead went on him, so he was getting out of the house; he got a ride in the car; he met lovely vet nurses who 'oohed' and 'aahed' over him; he met other dogs; he got treats... 

Poor thing didn't know what hit him when he was made to swallow salts to induce vomiting (which didn't work), and then got an injection to induce vomiting (which did work)...

We got sent home with the advice that the pupster may be a little drowsy as the drugs he got injected with has a sedative effect...
 
For some reason, however, Pierre reacted like he was on speed when we got home. One and a half hours of psycho puppy running from one end of the house to the other. He'd jump up on my lap and wiggle and fidget - the guy couldn't sit still.... above is what happened when I tried to take a picture of him.

Except when he was having a drink. 

Well, you do loose a lot of fluid when you vomit. Of course he'd be dehydrated.

The little guy is doing fine now.. and he got a new squirrel toy (below) that has been named 'Mars-bar'...


(oh... and yes, I did finish all the squares on the green afghan - you like!)


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Textile Tuesday

This week brought to you by my current tapestry project - this is my final assessment piece, and I had to come up with the design for it...

Can you tell what it is? (I'll give you a clue: "it's sideways Miss Pat")
The tapestry I am studying is proper woven tapestry - not needlepoint tapestry. See - I am working with string and the colour actually makes the fabric....

This is opposed to needlework tapestry - in which usually colour is stitched onto an existing 'framework' fabric of squares.The big difference is that for this you use bobbins (not needles) and, as you are creating the fabric, you need to work from the bottom up.
I am really enjoying working on this - I have mixed neutral colours for the background, and chosen solid, bright colours for the subject. I hope to create a fun piece that explodes out of the tapestry!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A green afghan*...

This here is one of my current WIP - a wedding afghan for friends of mine. This is it exactly at the halfway mark - only 40.5 squares to go (no-one mention the border, okay!... or that the wedding that this was for was in March!) My friends selected the yarn, colours and pattern from a bunch of colour cards, stash samples, books and magazines I took over to their place, and understood there was a very big possibility it could be running a bit late....

It was originally supposed to be the cable blanket from Jo Sharp contemporary knitting, but I decided the pattern was written by a numpty, and ripped out the third of that pattern I had knitted (after starting it twice because I decided the pattern was badly written). The stitch pattern was making the finished product look a little card-boardy, so I decided to go with good ol' fashioned garter, and keep the diagonal colours as per the original pattern. To reduce the need for seeming, I decided to work a variation on your standard entrelac to get a nice looking blankie without the need of any starter triangles.

This is worked in Bendy 12ply Rustic - have to say that although it is supposedly the same yarn, with the same fibre content in different colours, the lighter colours (particularly the cream fleck) is so much softer than the darker colours. Anybody have any idea why this is???

Needless to say, this is a fantastic knit for rainy days in front of the heater! Now that the weather has turn crisp and chilly, a hellava lot more work is getting done on this project now :)

And because I had the camera out, I thought it was time for a couple of Pierre pics.

This is his favourite place to greet guests as they come in the front door (which is just behind the right of the couch)


It is rather kitten like the way he bounds up to the back of the couch and runs back and forth along the narrow cushion until a guest will pay attention to him.The next thing that happens when we have guests, is that the toy sitting on the couch there gets dumped in their lap, because, of course, the guest is there solely to play with P!

And I took these pics while I was running a few errands today - 

I absolutely love these kimmidolls, but this red-headed one is my favourite (her name is Seiko, meaning success - also the name of one of my Japanese exchange student pals) However, I just can't justify spending $20 on a doll, no matter how cute. 

So when I saw these little key-ring dolls for 7 bucks I got all excited... 7 bucks isn't much, and a key-ring you use for your keys and see it all the time and does more than sit on a shelf and looks cute....
....except there is only a limited number of characters in the key-ring line, and Seiko isn't one of them :( Guess it just wasn't meant to be...

And finally - I just got back from the Geelong S'n'B for May - it marks my knitsaversary as being a part of this group! I loved finding this group - they cannot replace my rubi'n'lana knitting buds in Sydney, but I feel lucky to have found such a great group of friends locally.

*if you don't know the relevance of THE green afghan, you need to get a hold of Yarn Harlot's book of short stories :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Textile Tuesday

This week brought to us by the loverly Purls Palace in Daylesford... the LYS that, like the rest of Daylesford, is cosy and classy. While I wandered around fondling yarns and fabrics, and flicked through books, The Man and Pupster sat on the comfortable couch and read through the Age (because, like the rest of Daylesford, Purl's Palace is Dog Friendly* and caters for partners)The Man bought these goodies for me as an extra birthday present when we had our dirty romantic weekend away back in March. 
These are the shots where I pay a homage to Brooklyn Tweed and his amazing yarn portraits. Above - Noro Iro, and below, Noro Kocharon.
These beauties have been turned into an incredibly warm beret/tam that gets lots of comments at Markets. I really should take some piccies of it!


*Of course, when we turned up on the doorstep of Purl's Palace The Man, Pupster and I were all wearing hand-knit sweaters. You'd have to be an idiot to turn away that sort of clientelle!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wind chimes..

Thanks to everyone who helped hunt marbles :)





These are what they were needed for - they are available in the shop HERE

Friday, May 16, 2008

Store Update...

Just some of the beauties I have uploaded to the store tonight - shawl pins and chunky necklaces can be found in accessories, and the tubs of lip balm under pampering products!

Read the post I wrote earlier today for details on discounts, free shipping and the competition...






Good Kharma Sale

A great big thank-you for everyone who is out looking for Pop's marbles... At the moment we have marbles flying in from all corners of the country, and it looks like we have saved Pop's wind chime production. 


In the interest of spreading Good Kharma, I have a couple of announcements to make. 

First of all - everyone who has found some marbles in will be entered into a competition to win one of the recycled cutlery wind chimes. I'll take a couple of pictures at the market on Sunday so you can see how they look.

Secondly - as a thank you to everyone hunting down the toy aisle in search of the elusive 35mm marbles I am having a sale at GingerKnits.com : use the code LOSTMYMARBLES (all uppercase) at checkout to get free shipping and a 10% discount. Don't forget that every shopping in May will be entered into the draw for a $10 voucher as well. 

Thank you again - My Pop says a big thank you!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Textile Tuesday

A special order I got on the weekend - 


a customer liked the hat I had on my stall, and really liked "Crazy skein" - a yarn I had dyed and spun (shown right).

24 hours of project monogamy and this is the result..

The wool fibre was dyed prior to spinning. There were six colours, and I spun singles randomly selecting the colour order. I then andean-plyed, creating a 2-ply yarn, and then I andean plyed that, creating a crepe/cable yarn. The end result was this great striping effect. 

It is now sitting in the living room waiting to be picked up by its new owner. I hope she likes it!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Can you help?

Bit of a request from my Pop (previously blogged about here, herehere, here and here)- if you're a raveller you may have seen this already (I rather naughtily posted this non knitting request to the Aussie Knitters ISO board)....

I am trying to hunt down some 35mm (1 3/8”) marbles for my Pop- he uses them in his recycled cutlery wind chimes. He was buying them from the supermarket (see pic below) - but they are out of stock and unable to get more in. I have tried contacting the company but have not got a response.

I will reward handsomely anyone who either has some 35mm marbles they no longer need, or is willing to check out their local shops (stockist include Kmart and Safeway - in the toy aisle) and purchase these marbles on my behalf. The marbles come in packs of 3 (again see pic) and are clearly labeled as 35mm. Preferably my Pop would like a variety of colours, but us beggars won’t be choosers.

If you can help my Pop and me out please email me: info@gingerknits.com :) As I said, we will reward handsomely.




Sunday, May 11, 2008

Read and discuss...

I just posted the following to a Ravelry forum. Thoughts? Opinions? Please?
_____________________________________


There seems to be a lot of confusion about "eco-friendly" fibre and "cruelty-free" fibre.  

Something that is eco-friendly means it is good for the environment where it comes from. Possum fibre from New Zealand is eco-friendly. The possums need to be culled so they do not ruin the environment, and as a by-product of this the manage to use the fibre from the dead possums in yarns and fabrics.  

Likewise, rabbits are a pest in Australia, and as a result rabbit felt hats were made from the culled animals. The brand 'Akubra' is quite well known for these hats. Foxes are also a pest in Australia, and it would be quite eco-logically friendly to wear australian fox fur (though not cruelty-free).  

In a similar argument, just because something is "certified organic" does not mean it is "eco-friendly" either. 

Growing cotton uses lots of water - growing cotton in an environment experiencing drought (like Australia) does not make it "eco-friendly", and is, in fact, very eco-logically irresponsible, whether or not it is grown to precise certified organic practices. Cotton would ruin an environment like this.  

People are getting so caught up in what is good for the Earth, that they do not realise that a lot of this is just a marketing ploy to sell a new, different line of yarn. Sometimes the impact of these yarns can still be quite significant for the earth they are grown upon.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

of winners and stock...

It was very remiss of me not to mention who won the april shoppers' contest over at GingerKnits.com - truth be told, May slipped in under the door so quietly I didn't even realise I hadn't drawn a winner until we were a week into the new month.


Bad bad me!

However, a winner has now been drawn - feel free to pop on over to Artificially Mythic and  give the Caffeine Faery a pat on the back. She has already picked out a skein (bunny moth) that will be on it's way to her next Monday.

Of course - I am now running a new competition for the new month. Every shopper in May will go in the draw for a $10 store voucher - those that stopped by in the last week or so, don't worry - you have already been entered. And you don't need a blog to win either - it's just been co-incidink that the winners of the first two comps both had blogs (and both live in Canberra too....)

I have some new stock I'll be adding to the store over the coming week as well - I have some chunky fabric beaded necklaces, scarves made by my Mum (in gorgeous merino/ alpaca / angora/ microfibre yarn blends), beaded shawl pins and some organic* lip balm. I'll be doing a product shoot and website upload with the stock remaining after tomorrows market at Point Lonsdale. I'll post here as I get each item up in the store.

I am also working on a new sock pattern - the plan is to make a pair of socks using entirely garter stitch, two needles, be worked in the round, entirely out of squares, without any grafting. Sounds impossible, non?

If I manage to achieve this design feet feat, the pattern will be for sale through GingerKnits.com. If you curiosity has been piqued, check back in a week or so when I hope to be doing a call for volunteer test knitters. 

*it is 'organic' (little o) rather than Organic (with a captial O) or Certified Organic because it has been made from natural, organic ingredients (such as bees wax, avocado and lime), not from chemicals - I am not going to pay big bucks to claim Certified Organic, which I think is a bit of a crock anyway. 


Thursday, May 08, 2008

where are my 4.5mm needle tips???

I went a hunting for these a few days ago, and couldn't find them...

Hmm.. they must be on a project... so futher a hunting... 

hmm.. perhaps in the stash-in-storage...

ahh.. yeah... 

they were last seen... here

on the holey argyle...

which I am feeling the love for again...

ta-daa! The front is now complete!

And this one is for all you sick people out there who want to look the back and see whether or not it is tidy..

I've started on the back now. Hopefully it won't be over a year to complete that...