Archive for February 2007
I should. There has been a lot of sheepy action around here today. I a bit beside myself with excitement. I have managed to acquire myself something a bit special today:
That is a picture of Little Purl pretending to spin. SuperSpunk is on the trail of some string to connect the wheels and a basket to put fluff in. Purl has worked out a bit of a rhythm and is waiting patiently to have a turn. Line up I say. Anyway, now that I have a wheel (I HAVE A SPINNING WHEEL IN MY HOUSE!!!) I obviously need something to spin. I have been oogling things like this for quite some time. This is what I envisaged myself spinning. This is what I got:
Having acquired my wheel (MY WHEEL!!!!) I called a sheepy shop in the middle of the city to see when they closed today. It is Lauceston Cup day, and some of us have a half day holiday. Some of us do not. It is complicated. Anyway I do, and so does the woman in the shop, who informed me they were closing at 11:30. I glanced at the clock – 11:09. I packed up my ‘stuff’ at work, loaded the car with my work and my wheel (ooh!) and hit the road, and managed to make it to the shop without breaking any laws. Sometimes living in a small city is a blessing.
With visions of purple fluff in my mind, or perhaps lime green, I cased the joint. Nothing! There was some handspun yarn with bits of wilderness in it but no fleece, fibre or anything to spin (I guess I could have pulled the insides of an Ugg boot out!). I asked the nice lady behind the counter if she could help and she headed out the back. “You’re in luck!” I could barely contain my excitement. I am not sure what happened to my face when I saw what she had. Hm. Obviously this was not going to be quite the experience I had imagined. There was some brown stuff, some more brown stuff and some cream stuff. I don’t even know what sort of sheep it comes from! Oh dear. I bought the cheapest – $12.00 for 850 grams. I don’t even know if that is cheap!
I asked the nice lady for some advice. “How do I wash this?” I was surprised by her answer. “Oh no, you don’t wash this. No no no. You must comb it to get the bits out (read poo and grass) and then you spin it and ply it and then you wash it.”
“Really?” My mind was whirring. I do not want to play with that. It has poo in it. I do not want to be combing poo out of fleece. Not even I am that committed to feeding my yarn obsession. “But I have seen it on the internet. You can buy it pre-dyed. Those people must have washed it.” Something crossed her face. I think it was uncertainty. I decided that perhaps she was not too sure of what she was talking about. Or perhaps she does not have access to google and etsy and too much information like I do. I made polite noises and asked about carding combs. The nice lady advised me to buy a pet comb. What a good idea! And cheap too! I bought my fleece. She gave me a magazine. I needed to shop further.
I went to the supermarket and bought some wool wash. And a pet comb. And some wipes because the wheel was disgustingly dirty. Then I called into the newsagent. And then I bought Interweave Knits Winter (expect to see me in Arwen soon!) and Spin Off. Because I am a spinner now.
I came home and gave Little Purl the task of finding out how to wash fleece BEFORE spinning it, which she did with very few tippy taps on the keyboard. If you are interested here is the link. Purl and the Tiny Madam and I have been washing fleece, feeling all connected to the past and the future and our ancestors and women the world over. It has been so much fun. We have hung it out to dry. It still has some bits in it, but they are clean bits. And any poo we found is gone! This is where we are up to now:
Clean and ready to comb once dry. Stay tuned. Cos tonight, I’m makin yarn!
I am an auntie! My little tiny niece was born on Tuesday last week after a tricky time, but she is fine and so is her mother, my SIL. I decided yesterday I should finish the socks I started for the SIL, I am sure she will appreciate the cosy toes.
We had a very busy week at chez j. The Tiny Madam started kinder, and had a great time. Hopefully that will set her up for the rest of the year. She was quite keen to go back and although she was hot and exhausted at the end of the day, she was very positive. Little Purl is enjoying Grade 8 and the Number One Son has had a ball in Grade 1. All good!
Does anyone know the name of a good therapist? I have serious issues with putting sock yarn in my shopping cart (in about fifty different online shops) and then closing down the site. It is becoming an obsession. I have even planned what I will spend birthday money on, and that doesn’t come until December! HELP!
I acquired 8 balls of Patonyle at the big blue and red shop last week for $3.49 each. The girl there told me they were discontinuing Patonyle. Does anyone know if there is truth in this rumour? I am loathe to believe her. I bought some cream to dye, so watch this space. The others are darker colours, so two pairs for the Super Spunk, and two for me at this stage.
Have a great Monday. I will post pictures within the next couple of days – one Monkey done, doing the heels of the two socks on two circs and about to hit the heel of the SIL sock. Busy times!
First, let me explain why my blog looks different. Again. I got a little carried away earlier today and tried to simply add a ‘subscribe with bloglines’ button. Obviously as a website manager I make a terrific knitter. My side bar broke into bits. Literally. I had little floating bits of green all over the place. Try as I might, I could not fix it. Anyhow, on the upside I have added an extreme close up of the Pomatomus at the top. They are finished done and dusted. Well, apart from grafting and weaving in ends!:
I have also added a page where my patterns are going to live, when they are done. I have written the pattern for my latest tea cosy, but you might remember I forgot to photograph it, so this morning I asked the MIL2 to do that for me and email me the photo! Hopefully that will occur relatively quickly so I can share that with you.
I have just turned the Monkey heel, it is looking lovely if I do say so myself:
This arrived in the mail through the week:
Yarn and Addis courtesy of The Knittery
I am going to attempt to knit Print O’ the Wave. The idea is that it will be ready to wear for this year’s Christmas Party. That’s achievable by any standards! I just need to work out how to do an invisible cast on. At the moment it is too stinking hot to do anything but sit here in the dark. Ouch. Why is it as soon as school goes back here in Tassie the heat really kicks in. And we do not have air conditioning anywhere! Just hot, bothered, smelly kids. Blech.
I don’t participate in Saturday Sky, but I am going to treat you today to the view from our dining room:
That’s Launceston folks, with the river and mountains included for your viewing pleasure!
Knitted a stitch for 72 hours. Oh, I must be back at work.
Happy Valentines Day to you all. I think it is important to celebrate love, in all its forms. I plugged ‘love’ into Dictionary.com, and among other things, this appeared:
strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything
This is what brings us all together. A love of knitting, crafting and belonging to a community of likeminded people. I have found the whole experience of becoming a knitblogger so uplifting. I read about people knitting on the other side of the world, and while I am struggling through the heat with a sock, there are people elsewhere knitting themselves emergency legwarmers to stave off the cold.
I have found podcasts about knitting, and regularly listen to people from all over the world talking about knitting and yarn and needles and patterns. The ideas and inspiration I get from listening and reading would have me knitting until the end of my days, even if I stopped reading and listening now. I want to knit with Schaeffer Anne and Socks that Rock. I want to dye my own yarn. I want to learn to spin. I want to read books by Elizabeth Zimmerman and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. If you have never listened to a podcast, I would recommend doing so. You don’t need an ipod or an mp3 player, you can listen on your computer. My favourites are Sticks and String, Lime and Violet, Cast On, and It’s a Purl Man.
I hope that everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day, doing what you love . . . knitting!
I have signed up to Secret Pal 10, which I am seriously excited about. Seriously! I created a new page up in the top right corner with my answers to the questions. Feel free to take a look!
On the knitting front, I am heading well towards finishing the Pomatomus before Monday, I am currently at the heel and am about to start my evening’s knitting! I don’t have any knitting photos, instead I will share this with you:
Your eyes do not deceive you – that is a giant paper clip!!
One consolation for going back to work is buying STATIONERY. I have a bit of a theory about teachers. I truly believe that most of us have a thing for pens and paper and all the little bits of paraphernalia that go with being a teacher. My happiest memory of the end of last year at school involves receiving a stack of sticky note pads in different colours!
In other news, I bought a pair of jeans. I think I could have possibly been the only person in the developed world without a pair of jeans. Well, I had two pairs but one pair was too small (you never know, they might fit me again one day) and the other were a pair that I was forever hiking up as I am not of the shape nor age that should have their underwear on display to all and sundry. What’s the use of having a waist these days?
Tomorrow we are heading off to Festivale, which should be fun. It is becoming much easier to do these things with our kids growing older. I am looking forward to some good food, good music and good company.
I finished something! The pink cardigan is done!
Pattern from Pipsqueaks
I am so happy with it, and so is the Tiny Madam. The colour here is way off, but I couldn’t wait to take a picture, so here it is. I started this Friday and finished this evening! It is a snug fit, but a good fit, and I feel that I may have broken my phobia of knitting jumpers and cardigans. I really liked working with the Jo Sharp cotton (colour 252 – Blush), and vastly overestimated how much I would need, so I have almost three balls of the seven left! Who wants ‘blush’ dishcloths for Christmas? Everyone? Good!
I have decided to publicly shame myself by showing you what I am doing. Five pairs of socks! What is it about casting on? From the top we have Baudelaire, RPMs, Monkey, sock for SIL maybe and Pomatomus.
I am planning on finishing the Pomatomus before Monday when I go back to work. To ensure this gets done, I have employed the help of two Bionicle henchmen to stand over me. It worked so well with the Tiny Madam and her knack of finding me doing something other than knitting and supplying me with needles and an angry face, I thought I might as well try again.
KNIT OR DIE EARTHLING
Perhaps it is just as well I am going back to work. I am spending too much time searching my iTunes library for song titles to mangle for post titles and photographing McDs giddy with joy meal toys.
Well, I finished the ‘I can’t say no’ socks and they were gratefully received yesterday. It was not all in vain, I was given a nice bottle of red wine for my trouble. Hm, that could get dangerous! I would have shown you a picture, but apparently it was inadvertently deleted from the camera, as was another tea cosy that I knitted for MIL2 for her birthday. I will write up the pattern for this, because it is entirely mine. Never mind, I will need to take a picture of it when I visit. Deep breaths.
I took delivery of some lovely yarn this week. Pink Jo Sharp cotton for a cardigan for the Tiny Madam – I have finished the back of the cardigan, it is a lovely ribbed number. There is nothing like a four year old with an angry face to motivate one to knit! We had to go and buy buttons this morning. I could have been finished with the cardi had the book with the pattern not gone missing for two whole days, only to turn up in a plastic toy bin. No one is admitting to the crime!
And these arrived – my first etsy purchase, but I would hazard a guess it won’t be my last!
As we say around here – WOOP WOOP WOOPEE!! I am all about the pinks, purples and greens at the moment. I have rolled one skein into a ball, but I will not cast on. I have too many things on the go. I must finish something. The colours are so bright! They are calling to me, but I will resist. I am stronger than any sock yarn. Really, I am.
My ball winding is quite a sight. I don’t have any fancy equipment, just my feet at the end of my stretched out legs and a fair bit of shoulder work to make a perfect ball. I used to spend hours winding balls like this for Auntie (my dad’s auntie who raised him for the most part) in my childhood, so this process brings back many memories for me. She taught me to knit when I was six. I have been looking for a photo to share with you of me knitting when I was really little, on Auntie’s couch with my brother in the background. When I saw her recently (she is now over eighty and in a nursing home) I told her I had been knitting socks. She has knitted just about everything I think, but never fine socks. She can no longer knit due to failing eyesight.
Here is me knitting outside in the heat (and boy there is a bit of that around here at the moment. The kids and the SuperSpunk are outside at the moment, in the blow up pool). I am getting game – this is the most of me I have ever shown on my blog! The red thing you can see is a bag that my mother made for me which is a great knitting bag! I have lots in many colours as she can never just make one of anything.
I am managing the two socks on two circs, but you can probably see I am a bit awkward. I am still unsure whether I really like this method of knitting socks. I think it will be very strange to get to the end and have a pair rather than having to cast on another. And if I might be so bold – the Addis are a bit blunt for my tastes.
I watched ‘Ten Canoes’ earlier in the week, which I really enjoyed immensely. The film tells a story in a very interesting way, with three different layers and connections between the present, the past and the ancestors. I was keen to see it, and also keen to see if it would be suitable for 28 or so teenagers to watch at school. I think the kids would need quite a bit of work beforehand, as the actors are naked the entire time, and they talk about poo a lot. I can imagine quite a bit of tittering which drives me quite nuts.
My holidays are rapidly drawing to a close; I actually went in to work on Thursday. I am in two minds about this. Obviously it would be fantastic to lead a life of leisure but I am yet to find a way to make that profitable!