Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A bit of everything

G'day all!

Just a quick one tonight - I am whacked and have forgotten what I was going to talk about after waiting for ages for blogger to load. Blogger is being naughty again at the moment - half the time I go to comment it says Error 500 (better than the dread 404 - page not found).

So I got a parcel yesterday, still have to do photos of my ISEIII scarf. I think you do need to see more pictures featuring the new colour I have been playing with:

DK/8 ply



Mauve with the new colour in a DK weight. I really like this combo and if noone dares make an offer on it I might keep it for myself. It reminds me of part of the skein of cobalt bloom STR I have.

Anyone got any ideas about what the new colour is? Noone has gotten it right yet.... I have watermelon already, Cathy, and it is either a sorta blood orange colour if used full strength or an orangey colour used weaker.

As for the little competition, I think I will have to put all the correct entries into a hat and pull out the winner. Plus I am creeping up on 2000 comments, so I will have to find something nice for that commenter.

In today's good news, Nathan was happy. This is good cos he has been flat as a tack and a pain in the butt (as unflat tacks are wont to be if you sit on them). He had a job interview today. One interviewer was underimpressed by the lack of suit but the qualifications for the job do not require a suit - they require a good working knowledge of Unix/Linux administration and considering Nathan set up the standard operating environment for the department.... He will be working half time as a sysadmin at uni next year, which will be *excellent* cos with his post doc position, he should be getting amore than double what he is now. Hooray!

Work is. It is tedious and boring but it is money and that is good. Apparently I work too hard. Well there you go. I was considered to be a slacker in the last role.

Finally, happy halloween for those that will. It has never been a big thing in Australia cos it is hard to imagine winter nights closing in just after you've started daylight saving. Can you think of any other holidays that we don't celebrate here? (Guy Fawkes Night for one cos they BANNED fireworks after stupid fool boys discovered what happens when you light a sky rocket and point it at your face - Darwinian selection in action there folks, but the rest of us now miss out.... grrrr)


Sunday, October 29, 2006

A new colour

G'day all!

Last I was at the guild, I decided to buy a different colour to dye yarn with. I wanted two different colours actually but only got one cos money is an issue.

Well, on Friday, after four days of working, I visited Trudi and we went to Winterwood. We walked. We were virtuous, well at least as far as that went.... It was only 15 minutes walk away but there were Hills. I had forgotten how hilly that neck of the woods is, which is sorta odd cos I grew up on the side of a hill not that far away from there, the sort of hill that trikes are dangerous on cos they don't have brakes (but that is what thongs, aka flipflops, are for!).

Yea verily, Winterwood did not have a lot of yarn. They had some but not lots. They are very much into this felting bizzo which means they had nice merino tops, interesting corriedale tops, alpaca and yucky romney batts (someone will kill me for saying romney is yucky but this stuff is really coarse and used for needlefelting), along with very pretty dyed felt and lots of other things. Go look at their website. I linked it above. Sandra is very nice and we had a good chat and drooled over stuff for about 45 minutes. I love finding new shops and I love being inspired by what I find. I often wish I could run such a place.

I bought two little baggies of merino/silk tops and a silky wool baggie and 50g of rainbow dyed merino by Jacinta. Oooh, yummy!

The merino/silk had an accident in the dye pot. Suddenly it was no longer pristine white.

Can you guess what the new colour is? I am spinning the tops up quite finely and plying them with a silk thread. It is yummy and soft and dee-vine!

I am very pleased with the new colour.

Since it is my birthday at the end of the week and I think it is time for a contest, can you guess what this

is? (I must say that watching it was pretty darned freaky - very psychedelic) The prize will be 100g of yarn dyed to your colour choice (at least within reason cos some colours I am not yet good at).

Time for beddy-byes. We started daylight saving today and my times are totally out of whack. Plus we went to Triffid Park, purveyors to the gentry of fine carnivorous plants, and had an arvo BBQ at Nathan's aunt's place, which was very pleasant indeed. Tomorrow I go to work again. Blah, but it is money!


Friday, October 27, 2006

So much to do, so little time, such a big post

G'day all!

Less than a week to *mumble* this time next week I'll be all mumbly! 8-) I am told there is life after *mumble* which is just as well cos I have Too Much To Do and would prefer not to do it as one of the undead.

This week has been incredibly busy. I had forgotten how little you can get done when you are out of the house from before 7:30 and you get home just before 6. OK, I did earn money and that is good cos we need it but four days of having no time to do anything other than work, commute, cook dinner, check emails and about two blogs a night, go out to an SnB, the gym or crafties.... Argh! How did I put up with this before? And I worked five days then! The kitchen went to wrack and ruin cos I wasn't keeping up with the dishes (DH did do one load) but the loungeroom is almost OK - I just have to throw out the newspapers and tidy up my knitting/fleece area of the couch.

The good part? There has been knitting! Socks are such lovely commuter knitting. Icarus is not so good mainly cos the rows are getting so long that you can't "just finish this row" cos if you stay on the train to finish it, you will be halfway to Upper Kumbuckter West before you know it (ie lost and not at the destination you want to be at).

Mr Sock last Saturday:

So here is Mr Sock on Tuesday:

And progress made to yesterday, with one day off to knit Icarus instead cos I hadn't written the heel instructions down:

No that sock isn't really nearly as long as my thigh. Honest. I don't have clown feet. I have size 9 feet (which some people will say *are* clown feet). At this point I will point out that the sales tables nearly always have shoes that will fit me, as they will have shoes for those women with minute wee little feet under size 7. There are good things about having big feet. Alas, I am a body size that is very popular, so there are rarely clothes on sale that fit me (but I make do).

Back to the sock discussion. Distinct progress is made!

I think it will become obvious that I am not doing the Caesar's check pattern - can anyone guess what pattern I am doing? It is in the book (Sensational Knitted Socks).

If I am really lucky, I might have one of the socks done by the end of Socktoberfest! Egads! That is a bit much to ask for.

I did (re)finish these:

I discovered that one of the balls of yarn was one full repeat shorter than the other. Totally bizarre. Of course I had knitted the longer one first, so I had to rip it back and donate some of its yarn to the other sock. I may be a lazy knitter but I do like my socks to be about the same length.... Can you see how one sock has a lot more orange than the other? That is because I managed to get the 16 metre long skeins twisted around each other (!!! gosh what a surprise!!!). It was a windy day when I dyed the yarn and it was being completely non-cooperative. You shoulda heard the hissy fits!

OK, a block of pics of some recent dyeing and/or handspinning. I may have shown some of these pics before but you are getting them again :-)

(commercially spun yarn dyed by me - two skeins, 50g each, sport to DK weight. Like it?)

(Hand dyed by me and spun)

(A 7/8 corriedale fleece in moorit/beige. Yes, me spinning beige and ENJOYING it! This fleece is not the finest I have but it is a great fleece to spin, is quite soft, and is coming up very well.)

(Commercial yarn hand-dyed by me in drying off greens and some yellow, 100g skein, DK weight)

(Commercial cobweb weight yarn in medium cornflower blues with a bit of mauve. One ball is a little less mauvey than the other. Over 1400m of yarn in those two, or over 700m in each.)

You can get a hint of my latest dyeing adventures here. Sorry about the crap photo - the camera really struggles under certain light (aka the light I mostly get outside in full sun here).

Today will be spent tidying up the back yard and trying to dig the mower out from under its pile of Stuff and mulch. The back yard is pretty junky at the moment and if people drop around for/around my birthday I would like it to look slightly OK, without about a thousand pots of dead plants and 500 million polystyrene foam boxes/parts strewn around and with the grass cut, including the oats that we planted as green manure....

Next, I show you something unusual. If I remember. LOL And I report on a visit to a New Pusher of Delights. Again, if I remember.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

argles - a quicky

G'day all!

Well I've completed my three days of work for this week and guess what?

They want me tomorrow and would like me on Friday the way things are going. But if I have to do 5 days of wrangling slow connections and sitting waiting for files to save I am going to go MAD! (That should read EVEN MORE INSANE!) So I will do four days a week but not five. No way, no how. (This means of course I'll end up doing six...)

I am off to an SnB tonight. I promised I would go, though my brain is done for after three days of wrangling Excel and copying and pasting info.

No pics - no time. Sock doth continue though. Almost ready to turn the heel.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Diddly done

G'day all!

Well I survived my first day at work. I was totally clueless for half of it cos I have no idea what I am meant to be doing if I am not told to do stuff. I did Stuff and they were happy with me. I will throttle the computer I use there though cos the server is in Queensland and I think the packets travel by snail between us and them.... Two minutes to save files. ARGH!

Anyways, what do I have to talk about? Hmm, well blogger is being painfully annoying. It keeps falling over in a heap. Like it has now when I *reallllllY* want to get to bed. I spent the last day of freedom cleaning the house - it took four hours to get the kitchen, loungeroom, bathroom and hallway relatively shipshape. Plus two loads of dishes (DH kept bringing more out for me to clean), two loads of clothes washing and one fleece filled up the morning. I wanted to make the place nicer cos the MiL was coming around as the FiL is interstate (at his parents' place, and my MiL has no great love for her MiL, and vice versa) and we thought we should entertain her. Well I was no fun cos I spun LOTS of yarn cos I was feeling twitchy about working. But we did get quite a nice lamb roast cooked. I even ate some BROAD BEANS! (They were quite edible as it turned out cos they were young beans not the horrid ancient rubbery sacs my father used to grow.) MiL said she did not want to watch a certain program cos it was dull but she sat and watched the whole thing and said it was interesting. LOL Space Race. All about getting man (not woman!) into space....

Anyway, I did so much cleaning that the Dyson's power head stopped working. The red light of doom and despair replaced the happy green light of whirling brushes.

Any guesses why? It would not have been anything to do with this pile of stuff I pulled out (including one whole tuft of tops I had combed up.... and no you are not able to click the pic - do you really need to know what sort of fluff you would find on a spinner's floor, a spinner with long hair and two cats?)

It was quite odd working today. Commuting is not something I've done for ages, but it is so familiar it was like putting on a pair of old shoes. I saw an old workmate at lunchtime and had a chat - she is such a lovely person. She's one of those people that you wish you could be like cos in your little heart of hearts you know you are really a scoundrel and she is an angel (or something).

Good thing for the day? Getting about 30 rows of the socktoberfest sock done. I only have 8 days left to get at least one of them done. No pics cos I got home after 6pm (ack!) and it was not light enough by the time I had calmed down enough to take pics.

I have made progress on Icarus, well I did on Thursday and Friday last week - I did all that from the lifeline onwards.

Do you like this pile of tops?

I decided that I wanted to do some subtle mauves and greys. I almost succeeded!

OK time for bed before I fall off my perch here and Nathan has to drag me to bed.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Two weeks

G'day all!

The count down continues. Two weeks until I go all mumbly!

No pics today - we had a very interesting if cloudy day with a cool change (and boy is it cool still!) and 2 whole millimetres of rain! TWO! Like that is hmm, a twelfth of an inch! Golly.

At least I got to hear runoff from the roof and the garage running into the water tanks. It tinkles away and is very inspiring....

So I am 2/3 the way up the foot of the second sock. In the last day I have done another repeat on Icarus and am over the 200 stitch mark. Only lots to go! I think I only have to do another two repeats of the first chart - I'll have to check that.

I had fun dyeing stuff. Again. I have to get good pics of it and put it online. I did some cobweb weight stuff in vibrant blues with a touch of purple and gosh I like it, though one skein is bluer than the other. That is the joy of "kettle" dyeing. I did some tops with the remains of the blue and made it mauve with some hot pink, then overdyed it with black and now it is soft mauve with grey. Subtle, surprisingly subtle for me :-)

Tomorrow I take some yarn to the guild to sell and pick up a cheque, if I've sold anything this month. I might buy some more plain tops and maybe (gasp) some brown dye or a different colour to what I have cos whilst I am getting some very interesting colours by mixing, occasionally it might be easier if I knew definately that I would get what I expected to get rather than expecting to get something and getting another entirely different (but hopefully delightful) thing. (I wonder if that made sense?)

I have to go digging through my emails and email various people. Yahoo has swapped over from the dreadfully slow old system to an abysmally slow new system. I get to see 10 email subject lines at a time with a preview window at the bottom. To scroll down the page means that I have to click the down arrow and it has to reload all of the stuff that changes on the page, including the ad and the handy dandy hints. I am on broadband and it takes about 15 seconds to download the next 10 or so messages. I lose messages cos they are 5 off the bottom of the screen and I just can't be stuffed waiting for it to decide to work and actually load stuff. Topping it off nicely, it does not do reply properly any more - it just does inline reply which is CRAPPY! It is getting EXTREMELY tiresome. Slow and crappy. I think they have tried to turn it into a clone of Outlook or something craptastic like that. Next time they ask me to take the survey I will do it and I will not be complimentary! I would swap to Gmail cos I do have an account but I am suspcious of Google's ambition to know everything about the world and about ME in particular. Same with their new thing to provide a basic word processor and file storage online to google account holders. Goodness me how much they would know about me then! Than again where do I blog? On blogger? Who runs or at least is closely associated with blogger? They already probably know anything I've ever said so it is futile to resist being assimilated? Will I be a borg (if so can I be like 7 of 9 except I would like to be able to breathe so no insanely tight corset thing please)?

And I didn't win anything in the Knitty calendar contest. It is pretty obvious why - I sent in stuff that was sorta cutesy and the result of someone playing for too long with their photo editing program (the Gimp) rather than someone being an arty photographer. I was pleased to see that Not An Artist got in though :-) She's a good photographer. I am a so so photographer cos I really can't be bothered getting the perfect shot - good enough will do. That's a bit of an Australian attitude for you.

Sknitty points out that both IK and VK have their new previews up. Gosh, I want to make lots of those jumpers! Ooh, err! What do you like?


Thursday, October 19, 2006

A miracle! Or three

G'day all!

Much less grumpy today. Partly thanks to you guys and partly cos I've been busy you see. I've been writing resume and stuff for the job app. I've been knitting. I've been digging in the yard. I've been talking to people about a temp role for at least a month for three days a week. I start work on Monday (miracle #1). I won't bring home even half what I used to but it is a start!

Recently I finished my skeining warp board thingo and skeined up a 17 loop of yarn. Then I tried dyeing it.

Then I really wanted to knit with it to see how it came out. So here is something I started knitting yesterday morning when I was feeling fussed.

Ooops. I finished it. I could've knitted a whole sock in a day if I had tried harder. (Miracle #2)

It would've been quicker if I had not decided to put a snakey cable up the side and cably bits for the ribbing.

Miracle #3?


The newspaper was at the front door.

Usually the newspaper is lurking in the garden or on the path or on one memorable occasion was in the back yard, having bounced through the gate. They put it through the window a while ago and it had to be replaced....

Miracle #4 will be if I actually knit a second sock. I am feeling pretty inspired!

Wanna see my new best friend? LOL I love it! It can reach *everywhere*!


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hey ma, hey ma, my (husband's) back

G'day all!

Well Nathan arrived home yesterday. The conference went well but no job offers this year. I think last year someone exceeded his authority in saying they wanted to employ Nathan. He said he felt great (except for a sore hip from being jammed in a much too small seat for much too long). Not tired at all! Four hours later, he was dead to the world for hmm, four or so hours. Then I had to deal with Messrs Tired, Hungry and Grumpy. Today he is off to uni and life returns to normal. It is good to have him back for when he is awake he sometimes even replies to me and looks at pictures of kittens and stuff.

Unfortunately there is no party, even though my (husband) is back. Not yet anyway. I have to wait just over two weeks for party but that is my party. We can't afford a party but we'll work something out.

The cats were very pleased to see Nathan, and Cheshire rolled around on the ground lots doing her best impersonation of a kangaroo

and giving the come hither look

(which is just So Wrong I am not going there!).

I am feeing rather trepidatious (is that a word?) at the moment, and am actively having to fight off a bout of being down in the dumps. There are a number of reasons for this:

  1. One of my sisters has split up from her husband and he is being a total (insert word of choice here) and making her life a misery (though that is just a continuation of what was going on before that). I thought he was a good bloke but I am totally pissed off with him at present and what he is doing to my sister, and I just do not know what to do cos I can't even afford the two tanks of fuel I'll need to go visit her.
  2. I am about to turn mumbly. Mumbly means in another mumbly I'll be 80.
  3. I am starting to doubt that I will reach 80. I am seriously worried that climate change is going to happen quicker than we can remediate the problem and that the human race is screwed *and* will take a whole lot of other species down with it. I want to run around and kick butts and jump up and down and screech but it won't help any.
  4. We have had no rain (despite what the rain radar said last night) for two weeks and it is October, when we should get over 2 inches of rain (that is good for us).
  5. We are running out of money and I need to get a job but I don't wanna. I'm a big girly wuss. A job would be good for me and I am trying. I'm just scared that I'll end up in the nuthouse because of work.
  6. I have to write the world's best resume to try to win this job (which I doubt I will but you gotta be in it to win it!).
  7. I have a huge box of lovely dyed yarn to sell but it isn't selling. I should list some more yarn on etsy and my shop. I should advertise it more.
  8. I want to buy yummy sock yarn and either dye it myself or buy it already dyed. I want merino tencel - we don't get that here. I want Koigu. I want stuff from Brooklyn Hanspun or sunshine yarns or any of about 300 sock yarn pushers, oops, purveyors (that should be perv-eyors) on Etsy (I'm getting one lonely Sweet Georgia skein soonish). I want to buy heaps of blue face leicester tops and dye them up and spin them and make other people happy with the stuff I've made.
  9. It is tax return time. Need I say more?
  10. I just want to be able to wave my magic wand and make everything alright.

It makes me feel like one of these:

(a galah sitting on top of a powerpole outside our place. Galahs are not at all stupid but have a reputation for being rather silly and dumb.)

or maybe this:

(a rose growing in our see-through shed - it stuck some buds up last week and this week it is showing off very prettily indeed. It is another David Austin rose, a recent release here. It is stuck behind a polycarbonate wall - it can see the outside world but can't affect it.)

So what have I been doing? Trying to write this blessed resume. I am blessed with wonderful skills. I am competent at pretty much everything I want to do or put my hand to, so why the hell can't I write my resume and sell myself? Because one thing I am not good at doing is selling myself or my stuff. I am not a salesperson and I lack the motivation to make myself into one.

I did a bit of dyeing recently. Here's some pics of some recent dye jobs:

This is what I am calling a cobweb weight yarn. It is extremely fine - much finer than laceweight. There is something over 700m in that lot, I think over 800m. I am charging $15 for it. That is Aussie dollars, so about $11 US or 5 pounds in UK terms.

100g of yummy greens - some yellowy bits, reminds me of grass that is becoming hay. Meadow hay. Mmmmm. This would use a 3mm needle for socks, or a 3.75 to 4mm needle for hats or mittens. $10 for that lot.

Next time I have to show you a different lot of dyeing. This lot is sorta self striping but not. It is waaaay cool. In 45 minutes this morning, I knitted a toe from it and started on the foot. It is galloping along I tell you, absolutely rocketing! (Don't ask me about Icarus - I've been doing so much manual work recently that my hands are rough as guts (which are actually very smooth - I've handled them) and they snag the laceweight yarn.)

Oh, those socktoberfest socks? Four rows of them are done. That is I found the toe of the socks I started to knit from my own self striping yarn in April and discovered it had been ripped back somewhat cos it wasn't on the needles so I've finished the toe again.

Finally, a shot of the sky yesterday afternoon at the treacherous sky started to cloud up and promise to give us rain. It didn't.


Monday, October 16, 2006


G'day all!

Only one sleep to go before the Boy is back! He emailed yesterday and rang tonight to see if I am picking him up from the airport. Sigh. I have to be there not long after 7am. The airport is on the other side of town, and I have borrowed the FiL's car cos it has a toll way pass and petrol in it :-)

My poor darling husband is currently bored out of his wits in the airport cos he has a 7 hour stopover in Kuala Lumpur. diddums! He didn't exactly pull out all stops for me when I returned from my trip.... but he will get a surprise when he ambles in the door tomorrow. I've been tidying up. A miracle! I've been vacuuming. Less of a miracle - not really a miracle at all. I do tend to vacuum a bit cos the hallway and loungeroom carpet is green. He won't notice the dust, except on the piano and I've told him his piano = he cleans it once in a while.

No knitting took place today. None whatsoever. Or yesterday. I have been extremely busy. I did make yarn but you have to wait for pics of it. It is lurid and stunning, if I say so myself.

Okelly doodle, I must be off cos I have to do the dishes and thence to bed - I have to be up by 6am to get to the airport not long after the plane lands. Knowing my luck, the plane will be early. That is good though cos then we pay not much for the car parking, rather than $15 cos I was there for 1.5 hours last time....


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Oh for a month of Sundays

G'day all!

I have been awfully busy recently. I need to blog stuff for the house cos most of it, but not all, has been house related.

Remember the big tree root that is literally blocking my ideas of grey water in the backyard? (BTW in Victoria, Australia it is legal to use grey water on the garden either direct from the drain or after treatment. If you don't treat it, you can't store it. We are going with the direct into the apple orchard version, no storage/treatment.) Well after finding several camphor laurel roots, I decided that trying to get the water to run uphill by digging a deep trench was a dumb idea.

The apple orchard is going out into the front yard. I only have to take on roots from the photinia stump there. So the trench started today. I have to dig it deeper, but that awaits the ground being softened by the shower water. Still it works - the water from the shower runs down to the front yard, with a drop of about 10cm from the drain....

I managed to finish not just one but two socks on Friday night! The casting off of one took over 45 minutes (and it was half past midnight when I finally finished) all because someone known as me confidently decided the amount of yarn I would need was this much. Or would you believe quarter of a row tinked back? Or maybe this much... a half row tinked back? On black yarn under artificial light?

The socks are seen here with a fast moving Cheshire:

The black/purple/grey sock is a Jawoll sock made to my usual toe up pattern with a little extra ribbing in the leg. Feels a little itchy so far but once it is washed I hope it is better. The other sock is some 5ply/sportweight that I dyed myself and knitted using the Straight Laced lace pattern from Knitty, but again my own toe up pattern. It is very interesting how the blue and the yellow pretty much disappear in the photo. They are not very strong colours compared to the red and green which pooled madly. The sock is quite pretty closeup where you can see the different colours in it. I have two skeins of a brighter/stronger colourway than this one.

The other day I stuck some washed fleece in the dye pot and painted it sunsetty colours. Lookie how it came out!

Lurid! I am now flicking it and spinning it as a single to turn into a scarf, like the Harlot's one row scarf, only in different colours :-)

Minor problem with the flicking - Cheshire is taking an extreme interest in it, probably because there is a yarn-like substance moving about six inches from her nose (and I have to be careful not to spike her with the brush cos it is VICIOUS! It has tasted human flesh and it wants more!).

On the husband front - he has deigned to send me an email once saying the talk went well. However his reply to my email was not an answer, if that makes sense. I am mightily pissed off with him. He has not made any effort ot contact me. I go away and he gets upset if I don't call him every day! I know that some of you would be dancing in the street (with your knitting) if your husband went away for a week but I am grumpy cos I am lonely. I guess we just get along well or something.

Here's something pretty for you -

Despite the drought, the roses are forging on with their spring flowering (which I am sure is about two weeks to a month ahead of schedule) and the rest of the front yard is trying hard too. Most of my roses are either English roses or Old Garden Roses. One of my faves is in the left foreground - Cardinal de Richelieu, one of the darkest of all roses.

And who says that Australian plants have to be dull? Red, hot pink and bright yellow in the foreground centre-right. Ouch! There is lots of purple and blue in that bed too. When this bed grows up, it will be an eyesore :-)

Why do I want a month of Sundays? Well, I got lots done today. I sent off my ISEIII scarf. I dug a six metre long trench in the front yard (and my un-tennis elbow is letting me know about it). I plastered more of our in wall bookshelves (which I am trying to get done before DH gets home as a surprise for him, though if he reads this it won't be much of a surprise ;-) I caught up the the PiLs (or at least the MiL - it pleases me mightily that I get along just fine with my MiL).

Tomorrow is going to be a big day. I want to finish the plastering and sand parts of it back. Since I am crap at plastering I have decided that it needs to be textured. Then I need to undercoat it. Top coat won't happen tomorrow but I can deal with that. In my usual style it will not just be one colour. Just as well that we are not planning to move in a hurry cos this place is gunna be eclectic. I also have to tidy the loungeroom (an ongoing project), the study (ditto) and finish spring cleaning the kitchen. And spin more yarn. And start my socktober socks. It is only half way through the month....


Thursday, October 12, 2006

The best and annoyingest things

G'day all!

Thanks for the support re job. I must do my resume! Must make it nice. Must make it look like I am an ideal candidate for the job.

No new pics today. Someone forgot to put the spare batteries in the charger (cos she was charging batteries for DH for the mp3 player and the MiL's camera). Ooops. However, I do have some old pics to annoy you with.

I did get some shots of four bags of yarn I want to sell on ebay before the batteries died. I found old batteries with enough charge left to download the pics. I got some pics ready to put on ebay. I registered as a seller on ebay. I did this and that. I set up the first entry on ebay following all the hints and tips it is telling me.

"You have errors," ebay tells me.

Like yeah, I have my problems but honestly how does it know? It is only ebay.

"Selling function not available," it says.

Hmmm.... looks like I am an ebay doofus or it just hates me. After going around and around and around 4 times now, I must just be a doofus. Of course it doesn't bother to tell you where the errors are, it just wipes out parts of the stuff you have chosen (like I put in the different postage costs for different parts of the world and it happily deletes everything but the costs every time I try to fix it).

Ah well, at least the cat likes me. Nutmeg is on my lap purring, belly up and kneading the air as I rub her tummy. I think the word is blissful.

And it is not scorchingly hot today. And I ate some produce from the garden last night. I decided I didn't want it to go to seed along with the rest of the garden (including the weeds which are still managing to grow!).

Can you guess which it was from these two veg?

It was surprisingly sweet and yummy. I hope it is not the reason why I have a gut wobble today. I rather think the gut wobble could be more to do with me watering the pots last night. We have a rainwater pond/tank that has been rather well fertilised by Nathan effectively adding a bag of cow manure to it. We are pumping that water out for the garden and the pots. I have to water everything by hand. Anyway, the hose and the spray end thingy bit decided to part company last night. They parted company by spraying water at 250psi all over ME. I'm standing there in my impromptu pooey shower trying to keep my mouth shut rather than yelling "UGH! YUCK!" (which is of course exactly what people want to yell when they get sprayed with poo water). I run around and switch the pump off after dumping the new outdoors shower in a pot.

The pump is off but water is still coming out. Not as hard as it was but still coming out. It is quite clearly tea coloured water. I'm covered in it - my clothes are dripping, my hair, thank goodness I wear glasses! - but there are only half a dozen pots to water. So I water them, then go and turn the tap off. It seems that once given a start, the water will siphon over a 1.5m high wall as long as the hose end elsewhere is lower than the water level. It's just that I thought the back yard was a bit higher than the front yard - maybe there is not as much difference as I thought.

Nutmeg has decided to sit on my lap. How peculiar! She hasn't stayed on my lap for ages - she hops up for some pussy pleasuring (how many google hits will that garner me?) and moves on after five minutes or so normally.... Hmm, if she is going to keep on farting like that, she is welcome to move on!

Well I guess I will do another webpage for my stash clearance yarns. I reckon I will do a flat rate per 100g including postage for Australian buyers, a different rate for Asia/US/Canada and another for Europe (mainly cos it costs $4-5 extra to post stuff to Europe/UK). I doubt that I'll sell anything but I am going to try!

Oh, you want to know what the best thing is not having DH in the house?

Actually there are a few but this is the best thing.

(some of you with delicate constitutions/sensibilities need to skip this part cos it mentions the dreaded word TOILET)

When I visit the smallest room in the house, aka the dunny, loo, toot, toilet, etc, I do not have to wonder a) if the seat is down and b) if I am going to (this bit is censored but I reckon you can guess.... it goes along the lines of "we aim to please, your aim would help").

Another best thing is the dishes. Instead of enormous monstrous loads of dishes every day, it is a load every two days. Ah. Lovely!

And I don't have to fight with the husband and the cat for a bit of the bed to sleep on, just with the cat.

I would say I can watch whatever I want on the telly but I can anyway. I can knit or spin as I choose, so that is no big luxury. I can read books - now that is a luxury cos as soon as I lie down in bed, the boy latches on to me most nights and it is really hard to read when someone is being amorous at you.

Speaking of watching what I want, the other day I went into a local entertainment shop and discovered an extra special special. Last time I looked, they were charging $100-$110 for these DVDs.

Not this time. See that? It screams pinkly, "I'm cheap!" Brucey-baby, you are never cheap. And I had to bring you home with me cos I didn't have season four until then. (Does it freak anyone else out to know that two of the five actors on the cover are dead?)

The other night, Cheshire was sitting in a funny position. She was reclining like a human would on a chaise longue. You can't really see it in the picture.

Turns out she was leaning on a ball of sock yarn. I would've found it uncomfortably but I guess she is a cat. You can see lots of bits of socks around in that photo. There's one commercial sock toe and a few other sock toes/yarn/associated odds and ends. That is as much of one of my knitting spots as you will see, cos I have not tidied it this week and the floor needs vacuuming after being attacked by the alpaca I have been spinning.

Cheshire is being a pain in the butt. She wakes up at first light and starts mrowwing and stropping the carpet outside the bedroom. She isn't allowed in the bedroom cos she will mrow right at me and strop whatever is handy, likely me. This morning she just kept on going and going, like a kid having a tantrum. So I booted her out. Problem with that was twofold - a) it was hot inside the house so I wasn't ready to reveal myself to the world, and b) it reinforces the behaviour cos she likes going outside....

I think I will shut up now. Can you tell I have noone to ramble at at the moment?


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hot solo tango

G'day all!

Well it is stinking hot here already. Average temperature in Melbourne in October is 19.6 Celsius. Currently it is 27 and brightly sunny with a gale force hot squally northerly wind that is likely to crank up even more over the day and dry things out further. (In the half hour that it has taken to write this, temp has risen to 30.) Alas my roses, which are coming into full bloom! It should reach 33. It is our first total fire ban for the year and it is only October. We don't get them until December or even January some summers. We have had 2mm of rain for the month to date. We average 68mm of rain (2.5") over 14 days. Not this year. It is dry. It is yucky. My vegie patches have gone to seed - not unwelcome for the broccoli and branching broccoli but alas my silverbeet, my carrots, my beetroot, spinach, asian greens, etc.

It is going to be a long hot summer by the looks of it.

To take my mind off the crisping garden, let's look at some knitting instead.

I have been working on Icarus on and off. It is now some 180-odd stitches across and I can't get all of it in the photo whilst pinning bits down with toes and hands. If I just left it to sit on the verandah, the wind blew it away (I learned this to my cost cos it went straight into the mulched garden and picked up a LOT of mulch).

Hooray! I only have to double that stitch count before I get to the real pattern. Like Donna I think I will finish this in 2010 at my current rate.

I've been knitting socks again. The advantage of a totally plain sock is that I cna knit it whilst reading a book. All I have to do is check to see I haven't dropped or split a stitch every now and then and keep on going.

The Jawool sock is coming along nicely now I have turned the heel for the second time. The first time around the point of the heel was a little short for my foot. The second time around, with only four rows added, it is a little long but I am not too fussed. I can keep kniting whilst reading or watching telly.

The second Straight Laced sock is coming along well too.

Some people get very fussed when their short rowed heels look like this:

(that is the left side of the heel)

(that is the right side of the heel)

They see holes and worry. I do the stitch wrapping tightly and I think the holes are not too bad at all. This is a 5 ply/sport weight yarn on 3mm needles. I am so not fussed about the holes that I sat and admired my quite even stitches on the sole and heel of the sock. (For once I noticed the good things, not the things to be critical of!)

Now here's some of the stuff I bought at Bendigo mills.

Yep, after whinging about how crook alpaca makes me feel, I bought MORE! But this stuff doesn't have any effect on me at all. So what is wrong with the baby alpaca I had? Do you like the spun up stuff? There was a little blended tops in the bag so I used them. The rest is in big chunks - it looks like laps (which are the ends of the run of not yet spun yarn).

Plus some alpaca/mohair/wool. There are three different colourways in the bag and as long as I pull out the odd short bit, this is all ready to spin, not felt (though I could felt it if I wanted to).

There was a half price bag of wool pieces. These are literally pieces.

I gloated as I opened the bag at home and played. I have Ideas. Any guesses as to what those ideas might be?

Two half price bags of superwash laps (pic of one only).

Superwash is like hens teeth here. There was much gloating about getting these laps. Laps are not as good to spin as tops but I can get some very acceptable effects from them. And being superwash is extra special!

Here's a shot of the loungeroom yesterday as I was just starting the Big Yarn Cleanout. I only had one box of yarn in the room along with the hand-dyed stuff in the background. I am still amazed at how much yarn I have that I don't want, and I keep finding more. A minor problem with one lot (that has some yarn I want to keep) is that it got moused at our old place. I guess I'll throw most of that lot out and wash the stuff I like.

The weather is pissing me off totally cos it is so windy that I can't take pictures of the yarn. No pictures = no flogging on ebay, if anyone will buy it = no getting rid of it = no extra space in the house. (Extra space? Ha! You oughta see our place - it is chockers with my fibre stuff, books, stuff-wot-we-don't-want-to-throw-out.... We are both magpies and keep stuff we probably don't need to keep. When I get a job, we are going to turn a 2.4m long nook in the study into wall to ceiling cupboard space cos there is only one teensy little built in cupboard in the whole house)

OK. I had best go do some other stuff before I start grumping lots. I have not heard from the boy since he left three days ago. I think he gave his talk yesterday - the schedule I looked up online said he talked then. I am bored and lonely. I want to know how the talk went. I want to know how the conference is going. I want to know what Amsterdam is like. I could ring his supervisor's mobile phone, but I have the feeling that the Netherlands is 8 or 9 hours behind us, and calling in the wee hours of the morning would not be Nice. Bored bored bored. I should go wreak violence on the fibre room and get the rampaging boxes and bags into some sort of order and turf out a heap of stuff that I don't really need/want to keep and go find storage solutions for the stuff I do want to keep. Maybe I should go buy el cheapo stuff to store stuff in - I would be in airconditioned shops then.... ahhhh.....