Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fulled you!

G'day all!

So over last weekend, not the weekend just gone, I did some fibre-reactive dyeing (in this case tie-dyeing). What fun! I have some tie-dyed towels (!!!), two t-shirts, did one for DH but have to re-do it cos it turned out green not brown after the red washed out of it, etc. They say that I should use hot water and Synthrapol (or in this case Dharma Trading's non-Synthrapol) to wash out any excess/unfixed dye. That means that I have to use hot water in the washing machine. hot water and detergent = FULLING!

So I grabbed my ball of Kureyon, looked at the instructions for the little felted bag, decided that they sucked cos I would have to seam the bag and designed my own little baggie instead, all done in the round from the bottom up.

So it went in the first load of tie-dyeing (I did two lots - didn't have enough tshirts to dye so I had to buy some "underwear" tees at Tarzhay). (Still don't understand why people get fussed about me buying stuff at Target - I'm not the only person! Why spend $50 or more on a "name brand" tshirt when I know I am likely to slop my tomato-based dinner down it and never be able to get the stain out again?) In went the little bag, frantically knitted in four hours or so on Friday.



Cool, huh?

Less cool was this. Two yards from the end of the yarn I had the dread knot.


See what a wonderful job of colour matching they did?

Then I got all enthused and bought a skein of Brown Sheep's Lanaloft in rather girlie colours. (I like girlie colours and they like me back - just as well cos otherwise I'd need to like colours more suitable for me.) I knitted up a bigger bag cos the Kureyon is only about 12 X 15cm (4 X 5") if that, and it is a little small for most purposes. The Lanaloft has a lot more yardage.

I did a fancy tubular cast on for it (garnered from Lucy Neatby's DVDs)



And knitted like crazy (on DPNs, no less! Didn't have the right size circs).



This bag measured 20cm across and 30cm long (8 X 12"), and has an inbuilt strap.

After fulling, it dropped by a third. It is still obviously bigger than the Kureyon bag, and I might actually use it!


It gets the bigs thumbs up! It is big enough to take my whopping big wallet and stays on my shoulder when i am on the bike too!



G'day all!

I am feeling twitchy at the moment. I think it is partly due to a deep awareness that winter is coming. I know that as a knitter and spinner I should *love* winter, but I don't. I am a long days person, and the short days of winter Do Not Suit Me at all. The days here are pulling in rapidly and the evenings are lengthening. The only good thing is I start to think about making dinner a whole lot earlier when the sun sets earlier.

Anyway, I have to announce a winner!

Sarah, come on down! You have won a set of five stitchmarkers from my soon to be launched Etsy shop :-) (Let me know what colours/styles you like - I've got colourful glass, stones, dark pearls and weird metal shapes.)

Y'know how I said that I would show off some FOs? Well here they are in their before state... Um not they aren't.

Ahem. Someone forgot to get pics of them in the After state. Well they will wait another day!

More on the baggies when I've got pics!

In other news, I have a very near miss last night whilst cutting up an onion. I had been wondering if the big kitchen knife needs to be sharpened. Well it possibly could be sharper, but my little finger says it is still plenty sharp enough - all I did was tap it and got a thread of red across the pad!

(Scuse the colour - taken under compact fluoro light! Turned out yellow - i am not really that colour!)


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Recent stash enhancement

(after all a shop hop is all about SEX isn't it?)

G'day all!

I tried to be very good whilst on the shop hop. We are saving for various things:

a) me to go to RHINEBECK!!!
b) a car
c) a trip home :-)

All of those things add up - thank heavens the car should be cheap and if I have an ounce of control, Rhinebeck should be cheaper than the car....

Anyway, here's the goodies I picked up:

From Creative Hands, some Rowan and some Noro:
(on special, of course! Except the Kureyon which came with a free pattern.)

From Purlescence, a cute little gruesome amigurumi book and a totally to die for Grafton batt. I love my rainbow colours even though I am not gay. (and if you are gay, well that is not my concern - you may continue as you see fit.)

From the Yarn Place - two skeins of Koigu Kirsti and one of a wool/cashmere to dye up, both on special.

From the Knitting Room, the one skein hat pattern and yarn, and a number of old patterns in mostly basic shapes - I like basic shape ones cos then I can plant my ideas on them.

Half a pound of blue cotton roving to spin up, from Monarch Knits.

(Not at all to do with the shop hop) I saw this on my friend Jessie's site Piece of Vermont and had to have it. Note the name:




Next I will announce the winner of the little comp and also show off an FO or maybe even two.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Shop hop day 3 and linkmania

G'day all!

Shop Hop, Day Three

The day dawned grey and icky looking. No rain - it shouldn't rain here for another while yet, or so I am told. It's been six months since it rained properly. Anyway, my ride showed up and we went to do a tour of the southern yarn shops. Can I just say after two days of shop hopping, the spirit and the body were definitely flagging?


The Continental Stitch in not Gilroy, umm, Morgan Hill was an interesting place. They have definitely set themselves up as a boutique shop. They had some cute stuff there - a mix of high end and Berocco synthetic yarns. I once again managed to get away without doing any damage to the visa card....


Then we whizzed down to Carmel by the Sea. I wish I had taken more pics of the place. It was full of cars all over the quaint little streets, galleries, exclusive shops, the sort of place I think my other aunt in law would love. There were people *everywhere*. The yarn shop there, Knitting by the Sea, was cute but did not have a wide range at this stage, though she did have quite a number of large, full-looking cardboard boxes in the shop. I loved the shop - double dutch doors and skylights and wood lining and all white and light and bright.


We stopped for lunch here at Carmel (that is Car Mel, not carm-el, and should be Car- Mill cos gosh there are a lot of cars milling around trying to find parking) and went down to the beach and SCORED! We got a parking spot that was about as close as you can get - only a couple of cars were closer. I would show the wonderful video I shot of a ground squirrel and our little companion dog getting up close and personal but the blasted camera was not ready for video when I pressed the go button... alas. But the clouds had cleared and it was lovely and sunny and the Pacific was BLUE! It is the first time I had seen the ocean blue down there - every time we've been to Monterey, it has been gloomy (once it even rained! But it was only Jan or Feb). Blue blue blue sky and sea. Lovely!


Monarch Knits in Monterey was the closest I've seen to an Australian style yarn shop, the traditional style shop that I've lurked in for years. It had a gobsmacking range (which is only found in older Oz shops that survived the Great Yarn Shop Bust of the 90s). High end, low end, mid-range, you name it, they have it. If I want Jamison Shetland, I should head straight there cos I think they have all the colours. They also have a nice little range of spinning stuff, including some wheels. I would be quite happy if this were my LYS. One weird thing - they started off with two fingerless mitts to display as their one skein project, but by the time we got there, they only had one. Why would you want one mitt? Also, they had two dogs in the shop (dogs in non-food shops are quite common here but is unheard of in Australia). So a chap was patting a shop dog and our companion dog sorta in the way of a main walkway. He stood up, having had enough doggy love, and a lady stepped around the dogs with this Look on her face, a Look that quite clearly was disapproving of dogs in shops.


Away away, up to Capitola to The Yarn Place (not the same as the one in San Jose). This place is in a converted cottage and the ladies there were very nice. They had different yarns to those we saw in most of the other shops - there are always some Cascade and Brown Sheep yarns in most US yarn shops (not all though!) - but danged if I can remember what most of it was! They even had some Aussie spun yarn like Cleckheaton Country 8 ply. That is our good, basic DK weight yarn (but not our nicer yarn, Totem, that is a little more expensive but lovely to work with).

As we were about to arrive at our next destination, the Golden Fleece, we detected a very worrisome event happening under the bonnet (hood). Umm, cars aren't meant to have bluish looking steam coming out from there, are they?

So we completed our left hand turn (against the red arrow but this was important! Car with bad stuff coming out from under the bonnet!) and stopped in a no standing zone. I grabbed my stuff and unhooked the dog and dragged her out in her harness (she only weighs 7 lb). Mr Car had blown a foofer valve, or more correctly in this case, one of the radiator hoses had blown in a very conveniently getatable place. My most resourceful companions let it cool and went to get some duct tape, degreaser and paper towel. I sat with the car and the car keys in case some policeman came along and was very insistent about moving it or alternately someone tried to nick it. I was a little worried that they would ask who it belonged to and I'd say my friend's husband (and what is his name. Umm, I think it is T N but really, I'm not so sure cos he is usually "my husband" and I met him once but never really got to talk to him). They begged the facilities key for some water for the car. Eventually the radiator hose was taped up and water refilled (yes coolant would be better but any port in a storm and we were not sure if the fix would work).

Did we check out Golden Fleece? Yes! They had some Kauni yarn. Even if I washed it, I think it would still be too itchy for me. They have just moved and also downgraded in size, or so I was told. I admit to not remembering a lot about them. I don't know what the one skein pattern was either - I was rather distracted. Also, see the pictures? No? Nor do I. I was still distracted.

Well Mr Car was not a Happy Camper for the trip back. We had to cross the coastal range, only 600m of altitude at best, but that is a lot of up when you go from sea level and you have a sick car. We gave up on getting to the last two shops - it was getting late and we were still having overheating problems. We ended up having to pull over part way up the mountains to let the car cool down. A highway patrolman on a motor bike found us just at the point where we could open the radiator cap, and he kindly helped out with that - we thought there might be an airlock or vapour lock of some kind that hadn't let the water from the reserve get into the radiator. We at least managed to get off the highway on the next offramp down into a town to a service station. There we refilled everything that takes water. We refilled again at the top of the mountains just in case. No overheating, no problems coming down the other side. Hope the car is ok - bit embarrassing for all parties. LOL

The sun had set when we finally reached our homely destination/

So dangit, we missed out on the last two shops but jeez louise, we did pretty darned well. Admittedly I did not do one bit of it by public transport but at least we car-shared. And I did find out a lot about PT around the greater Bay area, and about the yarn shops! Many many thanks to B for putting up with me and organising it all!

Now it is time for LINKMANIA!

The anatomy of a modern car crash.

Two stories about changing your brain - it seems that our thoughts shape our brains, literally.

Forget the aluminium in Alzheimer's - it seems that copper and zinc are the key to the build up of beta-amyloid in the brain.

Hmm, not many links that time, eh? Ah well.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shop Hop, Day Two, 19 September 2008

G'day all!

After the first frenetic day, we backed up for a second day of shop hopping, this time to the stores around San Jose (or Santa Clara County). Believe it or not, I've ridden to all bar one of the stores we visited on this day. It is sorta hard to evaluate places that you see quite often or have been to before.

B and I agreed to meet at 10:00 at the Appointed Meeting Place. Both of us were a little late but not as late as C who never showed up, well not within 45 minutes of the agreed time (for the second day in a row!).

First we hit Green Planet Yarn, my LYS. It is nice to go to a place where people know your name and ask how things are going. But do NOT bring your dog. Oops, no pic! Sun was behind it.

(Not doing so well on the pics today)
Next up was Commuknity. Commuknity has a bead shop out the back now and I think we spent a lot more time there than we did in the yarn shop itself. I picked up an Addi crochet hook for putting beads on my knitting (and y'know what? The first four beads I picked up with it slid on beatifully - woot, thought I, how excellent! - but I reckon only about 3 out of the next 100 beads went on. Such is life!). The yarn shop itself has a range of the usual US suspects - Cascade, CPY (not a whole lot), ack now the names are abandoning me, along with some Rowan and other upmarket brands. All in all a range of yarns for a range of knitters (and crocheters).

(front entrance)

Bobbin's Nest was still delightful. It has fleece maiden yarns (why yes, I don't give it the proper name cos I interchange them all the time, so hand maiden becomes hand artist (which sounds sorta crude, quite frankly) and fleece artist becomes fleece maiden) and some really cute stuff. More Rowan yarns and some other US brands that are really nice yarns plus Hazel Knits hand-dyed yarn. And up-market material and sewing supplies. One day I will go camp there. (Again no dogs - dogs are not allowed by the lease.)

(back entrance, stop sniggering you in the back row!)


Woot! We found Yarn Place like that! (Clicks fingers) We did not get lost at all even though we didn't have a map and B was not dead sure exactly where it was and I had never been there before. Once she saw the smoke of the sacrificial offerings (burning sausages on a BBQ outside the sausage shop) she knew that we were nearly there. We did GOOD! We did much better than two other ladies who got lost for TWO HOURS! They could not find the place. We were just TOO GOOD!

(Pic of a dualie for my AiL and also of the smoke generated by the burnt offerings)

Anyway, this shop is an interesting place. It has some gorgeous laceweight and upwards in shifting colourways that I am *dying* to try out but really, I already have So Much laceweight yarn that I should use some up before I get more (I'm working on the problem, honest!). The stash problem did not stop me buying some multicoloured Koigu Kersti for a gobsmackingly low price. I also bought a hank of undeyed 95% wool 5% casmere to play with. Oh, the shop is interesting cos it is a weird little place, has some spinning supplies and has a whole lotta stuff at way cheap prices. It is run by a lady of Asian extraction, presumably Chinese cos some yarn is labelled in Chinese, and the store is not about presentation, it is about price. That is very typical in my small experience of discount shops run by Chinese immigrants in my home city. It is just a different way of doing things and I rather like it cos I get good stuff at excellent prices.

(No pic, someone fergot!)

We then did the long haul down to The Knitting Room on the other side of town where we met up with S&B. This shop is run by a lovely older chap called Ed. The shop itself tends to attract older ladies, but they do have a men's knit and crochet night. I think the shop has been around for donkey's years. It has a few different things though such as a good range of CPY sock yarns (including my favourite colourway in a yarn I've already knitted with, dangit!). I bought their single skein pattern to make a hat for Nathan (orange yarn) and 5 booklets for yarns that are not made any more - good basic patterns in most of them and one that fascinated me.

Clouds! In the sky! The view from the park where we had lunch.

Finally we finished off at Yarn Dogs. There were CLOUDS in the sky, big DARK clouds coming off the mountains! CLOUDS! Anyway, Yarn Dogs has a good range of Rowan yarns along with a few others, a fair whack of synthetics (apparnetly babies here still get clothed in acrylic rather than a machine washable wool), some "eco"yarns and some real purty high end stuff that I want to roll around in for a while. Oh and it has a nice wall of sock yarn.


Can you believe it took us 6 hours just to do 7 shops (and we didn't really do Green Planet cos I'm there all the time and B can't take her dog in)? We were EXHAUSTED!

And look, grey skies in the afternoon!

Oh, the current word here is fun. As in "that is FUN!" And if the person really likes it or is being suckily nice to a person who does like something that they don't, it is "too fun!" or "so FUN!"


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We interrupt this blog

G'day all!

(edited to add another banner - thanks for the feedback so far!)

I have more to post on the shop hop, don't you worry! But today I have been working on shop stuff.

I am making a new banner. The old one is, well, Old. See?

Here are some new candidates:

1. banner7

2. banner3

3. banner4

4. banner6

5. banner2

6. banner1

7. banner8

Remember if you click on any of these pics, it will take you to Flickr, where you can see the full size version by clicking on "all sizes" above the pic.

Which one do you like best? To encourage some opinions, one lucky person can win a set of five stitchmarkers. Get your entry in by 8pm PDT (heh, 1pm EST in Oz) Friday September 26 2008.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Am I the last to know?

G'day all!

Anyone else seen these? Addi interchangeables!

Be still my beating heart! Well mebbe not cos I think they will cost USD140 and that more than a week' worth of groceries at WF! So I won't hold my breath hankering for them.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Shop hop, day one. 18 September 2008

G'day all!

The day dawned sunny for the first day of the Peninsula to Pier Shop Hop 2008. 19 shops along the west Bay area down to Carmel by the Sea/Monterey are taking part in the annual shop hop. Check out Victorian, On the Move for pics of the areas that we visited.

We hit 7 shops on the first day.

I am very very glad I don't live near most of the shops we saw. The first one was fabulous. Light and bright and happy, new and clean. Mmm. Yarn, Paper Scissors in Burlingame - check it out! They have a range of higher end yarns (IMO).

(My lovely companions)

The ladies at Nine Rubies were very welcoming. They have a local dyer doing a range of yarns for them. So totally would've bought some sock yarn there except I have enough sock yarn for about 100 socks still (even after knitting some - I spun some sock yarn and bought some for Nathan's socks, finding orange sock yarn is hard (mental note to self - must dye some) and some arrives in the mail every two months and I have to get a parcel with some from the office here....). Pity I took pics all round the shop but none of the shop itself! LOL Oh, no dogs please! (Still getting used to the idea that dogs are allowed in shops.)

(Can you imagine only ducking into a yarn store for 20 minutes? See the parking sign? Just as well there is a carpark close by!)
Creative Hands had a great range of Rowan and Noro yarns, along with other brands - totally worth visiting. If you like cotton yarns and blends, they had the best range I've seen so far. They also had a nice sale area that I had a whoopsy in - well Noro Blossom and umm wool silk (not Silk Garden) and some Rowan stuff for under $6 a ball (and some under $2 a ball!!!!). Plus I bought their one skein progject - a little felted bag in Kureyon (of course I chose the brightest colourway possible!) The shop itself feels like it is in the middle of nowhere, though the Caltrain chugged past up on a raised bed whilst we were there. It can't be too far in the boonies! Weird.


Uncommon Threads is in Los Altos and is a very nice yarn shop if you want Very Nice Yarn. They have a very good range of good woollen yarns and upmarket yarns. If I want a good range of nice woollen yarns, this is the place I would most likely go to.

(B is about to be towed away by her chihuahua...)
Full Thread Ahead has a good lot of sock yarn, not the common ones (like Opal and other German ones whose names I can't spell off the top of my head) but some hand dyed and less run of the mill stuff. They have some novelty yarns cos after all life is not meant to be serious. It has a very different feel to Uncommon Threads.

(can't believe I am showing my belly off!)

(you can see part of our transport in the pic)

Purlescence is becoming a favourite of mine. They have spinning stuff and BMFA. Admittedly I can't afford the spinning stuff but they had a To Die For Grafton Fiber batt that had to come home with me - rainbow colours with black at one end! Oh be still my beating heart! Plus I bought an Amigrumi book of gruesome people and Elder Gods (well one Elder God). (Gosh it is annoying me not having the net here! I would so be looking stuff up and linking it and getting more info but nope, I have to wait for days after I write this. Plus I can't do the pics either cos I can't load them onto Flickr. And I can't find out what the temperature is either. No we don't even have a radio - I thought the clock radio I bought had one but it is only an alarm clock with nature sounds, oo err...). (Now with links!)

Feedback to date - fun! Exhausting! Feedback on the free patterns offered - it is really great that really pretty patterns are being offered at the various shops but really, can I afford to buy a $35 hank of yarn to make some of the projects? To get the pattern I have to buy the yarn for that pattern. I know people in the Bay area have good incomes, but I don't. I have very little income at all. And we pay rent here (rental is EXPENSIVOS here) and a mortgage at home. And I've spent my whole budget in just one day. My bad!

Thanks to S for driving us around in her Prius (50mpg despite some flat to the floor freeway merging!)! Her little boy was very good - we only got one full throated blast all day and given he had not had a proper nap...


Hey ma, hey ma, the boy is back

G'day all!

Well I am back online. Lovely!

The boy came home yesterday and the computer was back on line in a trice - it just wanted him to log in! Stupid things. Anyway, I use the laptop (which is why the colour is wonky cos it shows a much brighter pic than the big LCD screen Nathan has on his machine).

Anyway, I am waaaaaaaaay behind on blogs and getting pics from the Shop Hop last week online and getting my NEW SHOP up and running - yes, I got me all legal last week! I have a California Seller's Permit! I have registered my business with the local council and registered my business name. Woot!

Here's hoping I am here long enough to use the thing!

The best part of the Seller's Permit? I can buy stuff wholesale! No sales tax! (As long as it is not going to be used by the business.)

Now I have to run around like a mad thing and get either my old Etsy site up and running again or set my yarnivorous site up again - version two! A few people still want stuff off the old site and I must update it when I find the files - they are hiding in a very convoluted place on a copy of the old hard disk from home. I shall have to put on my pith helmet and go exploring into the deepest darkest heart of the old files.

So it is all happening! I have three posts on the Shop Hop just waiting for the pics to be put in, which I can almost do as I have internet again and can put them on Flickr. I'd better get on with it!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

ah, whoops!

G'day all!

I discovered yesterday that the powerboard that DH's computer is on has a very flaky switch - flick it lightly and you interrupt the power supply just long enough to turn the computer off...

Then you discover that the computer boots and thinks it is on wireless, not ethernet. You try rebooting. You try unplugging and replugging the ethernet cable. (Next you will try the ethernet card if you can a) figure out how to open the box and b) figure out which is the ethernet card.) Then you get really desperate and run to the library.

My sysadmin (DH) is away. Boo hoo.

I busted the internet. OK, I didn't bust the whole internet, though this connection is so slow you would think I had, but I've busted my internet. So if anyone emails me or tries to send a message, you know what is wrong. I don't have email. I don't have any form of instant messaging. I'll be on the shop hop these next couple of days so I won't be reached easily unless you have my mobile number.

Enjoy your online worlds - I guess this gives me a chance to catch up on all those offline things!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shop hop

G'day all!

Once a year here in South Bay and associated areas, there is a shop hop. The idea is to visit as many shops as possible in the days alotted and get a "passport" stamped to enter a draw for a grand prize ($500 yarn from your fave shop). This year 19 shops are opening their doors to rabid knitters (and crochet artists and fibre artistes of all types).

The fun part is that the shops are pretty spread out over South Bay, west Bay and places south like Santa cruz and Monterey. SDunno if this google link will work but it is worth a shop. Or shot as the case may be... (doncha love freudian slips?)

I don't have a car. Some of those shops are nearly 100km away!

Well guess what I discovered? There is a BUS that runs from San Jose to Monterey! And it only costs $9 for a day pass that will get me all around Monterey and to the two yarn shops in the shop hop! I couldn't drive there and back for $9 even if I did have a car - not too many cars get 3.8L per 100km (or say 60 miles on one gallon of gas, which costs about $3.95 here at the moment). I have a bus pass that will get me to Gilroy to check out that shop, I might be able to use the same pass to get to Santa Cruz, where I might have to cough up some small change for the bus there... I can also get to the shop in Felton... The shops near SF are accessible by Caltrain and a bunch of gals are plotting a day out to check out the local shops!

So now all I have to do is plot it all out. The Monterey expedition will take a day - the buses run very infrequently and I must be on the last bus to SJ at 3:20pm (why don't they run a peak or post peak hour service?). Felton and Santa Cruz is another day trip. The near SF shops is in effect another day trip. Pity that I can't stop at Gilroy on the way through to Monterey cos that would kill three birds with one stone. I doubt I could go from SJ to SC to Watsonville to Monterey and do all the yarn shops in one day. There's just too much travelling involved even if I did have a car!

As it is, I think that either the Caltrain trip or the Monterey one will have to be cut cos I don't think I have enough time to get to both of those places - they have to be done on a weekday cos PT services aren't on the weekend (eg the Caltrain runs once an hour and is usually packed!). The car trip is likely to be on a weekday as well, so that requires three weekdays from two! We will see!

Oh my, I am exhausted jsut thinking about it!

I will have WIPs to show off shortly, just have to edit pics. Real knitting content soon.


Thursday, September 11, 2008


G'day all!

Today was our fourth wedding anniversary. Four years ago today I got all dolled up and sat around bored for half the day waiting for someone to come visit me in my chalet in the Grampians. (I had had my hair glued in place and it kept raining = no going outside for me!) Normally the bridesmaids get the bride tiddled on champagne but I had no bridesmaids - one of my nieces was off in Japan so I couldn't ask the rest of them to do the honours, and I had very clearly been told that various friends were sick of being bridesmaids. So I had none. Therefore noone came to visit me until one of my sisters came pounding on the windows and doors as I was just finishing the sewing on my wedding dress, and I was halfway in and out of it. One or the other of them (sisters that is) sewed me into the dress (best SCA tradition!) and I was ferried off to meet my lovely man in a cricket pavilion - a very nice cricket pavilion with kangaroos grazing on the cricket ground - and there was much rejoicing.


Our outdoors wedding became indoors cos it not only rained but it




on our wedding day. It was fantastic cos rain is common in the Oz Grampians in spring, hail happens but snow doesn't happen much at all, well not at 450m, but gosh I was cold! People said I was shaking like a leaf when I entered but heck, I had to stand outside whilst the choir worked out they were supposed to be singing and it was like standing in a blast from Antarctica (strange that, cos that is where that cold front had its birth pretty much). Brrr!

So in our romantic way, tonight I cooked an enormous lamb roast and almost got it perfect, if I do say so myself. Nathan got a card and a pot of zinnias in reds, oranges, yellow and white (and two plants that have not flowered yet - probably bright pink just to clash with the rest), and I got umm, well I ordered one lonely hank of yarn online and paid for my business name to be registered. And I bought a bunch of flowers on Sunday and got told Happy Anniversary.

I would point you to some online pics but y'know what? The old servers that we used to use have been shut down and I am danged if my brain will remember where they might be now... I can find one lot of pics but the permissions are all busted on the webpage that they link to, and they aren't the best shots, just shots of my dress and some vaguely amusing shots. Hmm, another thing to add to the list of things to fix up!

OK, well having bored everyone to death, I think I'll just pop off to bed now. You dirty devils - you think this is my anniversary present, don't you? With the indigestion I seem to have developed after stuffing myself full on roast lamb (with the best home made gravy EVAH!) nothing's going to happen tonight! LOL


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Unreasoning lust

G'day all!

I'd like to think that some people leapt to the conclusion that my unreasoning lust is for my lovely husband on the eve of our fourth wedding anniversary but no....

The new Knitty is out and boy oh boy do I have total and unreasoning lust!

I want to make this only BIGGER! I'm mad. Totally mad. The Op Art baby blanket is consuming my soul.

Why on earth do *I* want to make a blankie? I've withstood the Hemlock blanket with a varying degree of success depending on how much yarn I find in my stash (now there's an idea - use up random stash yarns on an enormous doily with the gauge getting bigger as the blanket does...). I've scoffed at the idea of making a bedsize knitted item cos I know I will go totally insane with the long and tedious rows/long and tedious sewing up and weaving in of ends depending on the style of the blanket.

I guess I could make a baby sized one and then make a big one if I can stand it.... That way I can freak with some poor baby's brain (guess whose baby?) and then freak with my own. Yeah!

(Wow, just noticed that the temps in my home city and here are the same! It's been a while since that happened - I guess being summer here and winter/spring there... It is nearly 10:30pm here and 3:30pm tomorrow there.)

I took a momentous step today. I went to the local city hall and started getting me legal to sell stuff online here in the States. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was and how nice the people were to deal with. Tomorrow I have to register my trading name (guess what it is?) and then prolly Friday I'll go apply for a state tax number/seller's permit/whatever they want to call it so that I can do tax remits and stuff in case I manage to sell stuff to Californians. I've been working on some stuff to update my shop with - it hasn't been updated for ages due to worries about selling stuff in Oz whilst I am here, and also trying to find out which of my friends Back 'Ome has the yarn or tops in question. I'm going to have stitch markers on it along with some recycled yarn and I'll try to build up from there. I might resuscitate my Etsy shop too. Who knows? It could all be a terrible disaster or it might all work out OK. If I don't give it a shot.... (and also if I get a seller's permit I wonder if this means I can get wholesale wool orders? Hmmm.)

(I might have real knitting content soon. Honest. Like pics of stuff, but I have to hurry cos DH is away all next week and he will have the camera)

Monday, September 08, 2008

nuno noonoo

G'day all!

I did nuno felting on Friday. It's been stinking hot here and I really wanted to do some dyeing but it was Too Hot! So instead I did some physical exercise (as opposed to mental exercise or perhaps I should exercise).

Nuno felting means getting some fabric and wet felting wool/etc to it. Obviously you need wool/etc that will felt - superwash won't do! I bought a silk scarf from Dharma last week so I could try it out. Actually I bought two silk scarves but I only played with one of them.

So I grabbed the scarf and some rainbow tops I got last year at Taos wool festival. I predrafted strips of the tops so they were nice and thin then laid them out on some bubblewrap (we have tonnes of bubblewrap that we inherited from a previous neighbour when he moved in and we were about to move out). Then I put the scarf over them and laid out some more tops on top. I made up some soapy water in a bucket and flicked water over the layers of scarf and tops. (I used glycerine soap cos it is soft on my hands. Olive oil soap is good too - I've used that for felting too.) Then I rubbed the watery soap in using a plastic bag over my hand (gloves are popular for this but I had a bag) so that the tops don't move too much. The bubblewrap then gets rolled up, enclosing the scarf and tops and you start rolling it like a rolling pin on dough. Except if you rolled dough as much as you need to roll a felted thing, the dough would be very large and thin. I rolled it 150 times in one direction, then unrolled it to see how it was going and rolled it up again from the other direction and rolled another hundred or so times.

It gets fun after this. You unroll it and have a peek at it. If it is felting nicely then you just fold it up in the bubblewrap and start dropping it onto a hard surface. After a few drops you can take it out of the bubblewrap and scrunch it up and start throwing it. Every now and then dip it into the soapy water and squeeze it out - it should not be dripping just moist. The pounding it takes accelerates the felting process. You are aiming for an item that is about 2/3 the size it was.

Eventually, it looks like this:

See how the silk is all sorta wrinkly? But the wool doesn't look so wrinkly?

I think I'll do some more of this. It is hard on the old wrists but maybe I can modify the way I do it.


Cos I'm a follower

G'day all!

Everyone else is doing this, so why not me? I have some medical limitations to the sorts of foods I can have but if there is a GF/DF version I either have eaten it or would eat it, mostly. Except maybe not fugu and certainly not coffee and I'm not keen on bleeding meat either. So I'll put a GF/DF next to it if I am willing to give it a go in a form that won't give me problems for days!

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros - it's just eggs and stuff - looks yummy when DH has it. GF/DF
4. Steak tartare ARGH! Raw meat! NO WAY! Can't stand bleeding meat.
5. Crocodile

6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush

11. Calamari
12. Pho (not too keen on raw meat but the soup should cook it a bit)
13. PB&J sandwich (GF and DF though)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart

16. Epoisses I'd guess a pongy cow's milk cheese won't appeal even if it was GF
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream

21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras NEVER again! Ack, horrid stuff
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - mebbe a little piece but not a whole one
27. Dulce de leche GF/DF
28. Oysters
29. Baklava (Both Greek and Persian)
30. Bagna cauda GF/DF even if the garlic half kills me.

31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl - would if I could! GF/DF
33. Salted lassi GF/DF
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float root beer makes me feel ill and I'm guessing root beer with icecream will just exacerbate it

36. Cognac with a fat cigar - cigars are horrid
37. Clotted cream tea - GF/DF, may be hard to arrange
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo- GF/DF
40. Oxtail

41. Curried goat - GF/DF
42. Whole insects - I'm guessing eating them accidentally doesn't count?
43. Phaal - well a little bit with a lot of rice and heaps of DF lassi... LOL
44. Goat’s milk - if it can be made dairy free! LOL
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more if I could but it isn't GF and can't be GF

46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut - if GF/DF so I am guessing it is out, right?
50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer - if DF!
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal

56. Spaetzle - GF/DF
57. Dirty gin martini - can I have the ingredients?
58. Beer above 8% ABV - GF
59. Poutine - GF/DF, may avoid the point...
60. Carob chips

61. S’mores - GF/DF
62. Sweetbreads - GF/DF
63. Kaolin - what, clay?
64. Currywurst - GF/DF
65. Durian - in the form of icecream - was yummy!

66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake - GF/DF
68. Haggis - GF/DF
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette - GF/DF

71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini - GF/DF
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost - GF/DF
75. Roadkill

76. Baijiu - smelling it was enough to put me off. I think I tasted it despite my brain's best ideas...
77. Hostess Fruit Pie - GF/DF
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong - DH drinks it, do I really have to too?
80. Bellini (presumably a cocktail, not a family of painters - if the latter, no thanks!)

81. Tom yum Goong!
82. Eggs Benedict - GF/DF
83. Pocky - GF/DF
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant - GF/DF
85. Kobe beef - if cooked

86. Hare - if cooked
87. Goulash - GF/DF
88. Flowers
89. Horse - if cooked
90. Criollo chocolate - GF/DF

91. Spam - is spam GF/DF?
92. Soft shell crab - if cooked
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish - if cooked
95. Mole poblano - GF/DF

96. Bagel and lox - GF/DF
97. Lobster Thermidor - GF/DF
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee can't deal with bitterness
100. Snake - if cooked

Golly, that is only 28 out of a hundred! And I started off so well too... Of course I could've had about another 30-40 if I was able to have dairy and gluten cos I've had the opportunity, but really? The aftermath is just not worthwhile, no matter what anyone says!

Gosh it feels better to get this meme done so I can go back to being an individual again...


Friday, September 05, 2008

Technical issues and a not quite FO

G'day all!

It has been an all over the place day. DH is really struggling and things are tough.

Of course when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

What do they do?

They knit lace! They NUNO-felt! Felting is good for getting frustration out, but I don't feel much frustration currently - maybe the felting got it all out!

I have finally finished the knitting of last year's Mystery Stole. At the same time as I did the final grafting of the old stole, the first clue for this year's stole came out! Talk about timing!

Now on the subject of grafting, I had to graft the two ends of the stole together.

Y'see someone didn't read the chart for the stole very well. She decided that the blank lines did not mean knit here, they meant ignore this line. Ooops! The blank lines still had boxes for each stitch and were inside the big thick line that was the outside edge of the stole, someone was just a bit der Fred and ignored it.

Here's how it looked:

So after I had finished the wing of the stole, I carefully unpicked the nasty edge

Spit spliced in the cone of yarn I've been working from and started knitting the pattern much more as written!

Gosh what a difference it made.

As we watched some online vids of "Speed" (Jeremy Clarkson, from Top Gear but he also did something else before that and gosh he has a good opinion of himself - figjam!) I grafted the two ends together.


I finished at midnight. If anyone can tell me why I end up grafting things with my left hand (being lefthanded I can figure that one out) from right to left, I'd love to know. Left to right is so much easier....


It is beaded. I used a multicolour mix of frosted glass 8/0 beads. I started off with the colours you can see - the blue for the edging:

and the three colours:
plus mauve but I found the mauve was almost invisible (except to the camera's eye, when of course it was quite obvious!). So most of it was beaded with the aqua, spring green and dark green.


Next it has a nice little wash and off to be blocked! Then the ends can be woven in. Mebbe tomorrow.

Technical issues

Over the last while I've become increasingly frustrated at the fact I cannot reply to your comments. People on Wordpress can. I know I like it when people reply to my comments. But Blogger is not set up to deal with comments in the same way. It doesn't work as a conversation. It ends up meaning that you don't get me talking to you and you don't bother commenting. Why would you?

Here's a little text-box jobby of what the email notification looks like:

[Yarnivorous] New comment on Stupidly excited.
Saturday, 6 September, 2008 3:33 AM
From: "pretendname"
To: me@myemailaddress.com

What do you notice about the email address?

It won't work! no-reply@blogger.com

Now I could reply to comments using the comment box, but that is not individual. Everyone who has subscribed via email to the comments (using the check box) gets the reply.

You could release your email address on your blogger account (if you go to your account and edit the profile, you can show your email address). However I have no idea if this means you will shortly start receiving 5,000 offers each and every day to enlarge your p3nis or that you really need a green lawn, your puppy dog's claws need this latest and greatest nail clipper and oh by the way you've just won $5 million in the Netherlands lottery... Blogger does obfuscate the email address using Javascript (or so I am told) so spam bots shouldn't be able to harvest your email but real people can.

I could go digging to find your email address by looking at your Blogger profile and finding your blog page and then visiting it. However, if I find this:

Profile Not Available

The Blogger Profile you requested cannot be displayed. Many Blogger users have not yet elected to publicly share their Profile.

That isn't exactly helpful either. If your Blogger display name is fairly common (eg Cathy, Laurie, Steve, Peter) then how do I know which one you are?

Finally if you post anonymously and especially with no name or a very common name, I have NO IDEA who you are and cannot reply to you even if you are my very bosomest buddy and I know your email address off by heart.

Sometimes I wonder if I should just swap over to wordpress and cough up the bikkies for it. Yes there is a free version but the paying versions are usually better. The problem with that is the learning curve and DH's complete lack of interest in helping out.

Happy 20,000 picture to my little camera! It is two in December and has already taken over 20,000 pics. Be very very glad that I only have 1600 on Flickr so far cos there are several thousand more that I could inflict on you via my blogs....