amanda j

Archive for May 2007

I have fixed my knitting mojo! I bought yarn! Yay! (Well, at least I think this will help with the Sockapalooza problems). Those of us in Australia have known about The Knittery for some time. Their yarns are absolutely gorgeous. I have over time bought many skeins of sock yarn, both the merino and merino cashmere. I have also got some laceweight that is supposed to be a shawl by the end of the year for me to wear to a Graduation Dinner. Well, Lime and Violet mentioned The Knittery, and suddenly they are out of almost everything! When I checked this morning I had a minor panic and in about 60 seconds had purchased a skein of Strawberry merino cashmere, which was one of two colourways left. The other was Forest Moss, which I have used for my RPMs. You see, I think part of the problem I have been having with my Sockapalooza choices has been that I want to do fancy stitches with fancy yarn. And we all know that is not often a good combination! I was just being too enthusiastic and forgetting to find a balance!!

I have knitted my piece of the Scarf Circle scarf. I am finding this a bit of a struggle at times; my gauge is quite different to AlliCat’s and I usually have to knit three times before finding the right combination of stitch, needle and yarn. The scarf I have at the moment is in black, white and red. Luckily I had some dark red in the stash!

I have been listening to a couple of new podcasts. Stitch Stud is a Canadian guy who is passionate about his knitting and his family. Changelings Knit and Stitch was also a good listen. And I wish I had thought of this title – Socks in the City. Anyone who is passionate enough about knitting socks to produce a podcast about it gets a vote from me! I find my poor ipod gets a bashing these days, between the audio books and the podcasts. I really enjoy knitting while listening to people talk about knitting.

Finally, I received a little package today from Ellen, containing a pattern for a skull beanie and a couple of sticky note pads. I love sticky notes! And skulls! Thanks Ellen. The stickies will come in very handy, and the beanie is added to the to-do list.

(Shh. Did anyone notice the lack of photos? Sorry, there are many links to make up for it. I will take photos tomorrow.)


My daughter, Purl, turned fourteen today. Fourteen is a lot of years. In four years, she will have been around for half of my life. I have to say, and I acknowledge my bias, she is quite remarkable. Tonight we went to watch her in her first ‘big play’. Drama is a big part of our lives, most of it unscripted! It was amazing to see her on stage tonight – she is a natural! 

It is the first time my parents have been in the same room for some years, and their willingness to be there is testament to Purl. She was fabulous and she has declared “I love being on stage”. I guess we have a lot more theatre ahead of us. Her ‘step’ grandparents were also there to support her – this too is interesting as mostly they prefer to be apart! There we all were. In a row. Mum, me, my actual mother in law, the woman my Dad married (as I was an adult when all this happened I can not use step mother or step father to describe these two. I love them, but they are not my steps), my father, my step mother in law and my father in law. Ah, the modern family. The one thing we had in common was our love and pride in this young woman. It was quite something.

Dad bought Purl a new camera. You might have read about our problems with cameras since Purl dropped our perfectly good Kodak in the creek at camp. Well, now she has her own perfectly good Kodak. I am going to share with you today some of the photos she has taken so far. They are a mixed bunch!

This could explain my problem with getting any real knitting done. I must tidy up.

This is Louis in the foreground, and Mrs Mouse in the back. Louis has taken to jumping up and hanging from the top of the enclosure. She may be bored. I will address this boredom with toilet paper tubes. She loves them. Mrs Mouse just loves the suspended wheel.

This is the money Purl got for her birthday. $150. Holy shmoly. The mind boggles.

And this . . . well this is a sock that is working. I will not talk about it yet. It is not for Sockapalooza. It is for Purl. It is Socks that Rock. In its second incarnation. Toe up with a black toe:

And speaking of Sockapalooza, which I am not, I started another sock last night, did a few pattern repeats and stuffed it up again. I am OVER IT! I will not cast on. I will not obsess. I am a procrastiknitter by nature and all of this trying to get things done early is obviously upsetting the universe.

what the most disturbing part of this story is.

Can you help me? Is it the giant pig or the boy with the pistol? Or both? And I quote:

“It feels really good,” Jamison said. “It’s a good accomplishment. I probably won’t ever kill anything else that big.”


i quit!

Posted on: May 26, 2007

No more posts about Sockapalooza until something goes right. I have knitted and knitted and knitted. The Undulating Rib socks from the previous post are no more. I am not talking about it. I have jinxed and hexed myself somehow. Suffice to say, I am knitting something, and you will just have to wait and see what it is.

I have almost finished the second sock for the Spunk. I will photograph them tomorrow on his feet. They look good!

Today I was listening to Cast On, which is a fabulous podcast and one I highly recommend. It was the end of this series and Brenda mentioned that next series she is going to be running a ‘camp’ where you can earn badges and sing along to campfire songs. I was a Brownie for a number of years and became a sixer (leader). But, I never did a badge! Not one! I can still say the Brownie pledge. I happily shone my little brass pin and brown shoes every week. I wonder why I could never commit to a badge? Were any of you guides/scouts/adventurers/campfire girls? How many badges did you earn?

Tonight I am going to that Scottish play, presented by the Bell Shakespeare Company. I am quite looking forward to it, despite it being with kids from school! One day soon I might get through a weekend without interacting with some of my students!

I got an extremely good mark on an assignment – 85% – and to congratulate myself I am thinking of buying this:

Did anyone else watch Growing Pains? Apart from George Michael (I know, I know!) Kirk Cameron was my first love! (Picture somewhat shamefully stolen from 80s tees.) Check out this site! There is some seriously cool stuff.


Oh dear. I have changed my mind again. The Retro Rib pattern is very cool and I got to here:

(another bad photo!)

and decided that this pattern was not doing the yarn justice either. This yarn is destined to be a plain stocking stitch sock pair. So, I ripped it all out. The sole of the foot above looks fabulous and I can’t wait to knit these socks. But I will be keeping them for myself. For my sock pal, I have started a pair of Undulating Rib socks from my well thumbed Favourite Socks book. So far, so good. I am using the Hot Socks that Sue sent me; it is really soft and nice. I have finished the cuff:

Am I putting too much thought into this? Is there any such thing as too much thought when it comes to knitting. Is anyone else having this much trouble committing to a sock and yarn combo? Have they invented Knitalin for those of us with Knitting ADHD?

I finished the toe up afterthought heel sock and really liked this method of knitting a heel. It’s just a toe!

It fits the Spunk very well. However, I could not seem to get the figure 8 toe to work the other night, and decided to do the second sock top down. I am glad I am at a point in my sock knitting life that I am fine with making a ‘pair’ that don’t match. The Spunk informed me today that he threw out a pair of socks, and there are more on the way out, and he would like to have knitted socks to replace them. Looks like I had better get my skates on! In the picture above you can see how much of the second sock I had at the start of the afternoon. This is what I have after three hours and two coffees with Mum:

Some more of Katt’s yarn arrived the other day!

Thanks Katt! Delicious as ever. The Delphinium (blue and purple) now belongs to Mother. I am keeping the Patter (pinks) in case my friend has a girl – she’s due in seven weeks! Every part of me believes it’s a boy, but I have been wrong before. Once or twice.

In the post today, there was another scarf to add to!

This one requires red, black or white. I will have to see if I can find something in the stash – otherwise it’s off to the shops for me this weekend. It contains Cascade 220 which is yet another yarn I have not knitted with as it requires paying postage. I was interested to fondle it today.

And there you have it. Another working week almost over for me. It is cold, wet and windy tonight. It’s only 5:11pm but it’s almost dark outside. The perfect evening for curling up with a sock on the needles.

larjmarj has tagged me! For a random seven facts about me! In my world the word random is used so often, it’s just . . . so random that I have been tagged. So here goes:

1. I grew up in various farming situations and one day had to literally nurse a sheep in a vehicle that was built by my uncle, which we called a beach buggy, but that would never see the beach. The sheep was being taken to the slaughterhouse by me and my Dad. I was probably five or six and this whole episode didn’t really bother me.

2. I have been in my time quite athletic, although those who know me now might find it hard to believe. I was the swim champion of my Primary School. I ran in representative teams. I would love to be fit, but do not have time. Someone should address this. Not me though. I don’t have time.

3. I have always wanted to be a teacher. Some people find that strange, and I am sick of defending my job. I love it, kids are great and I wish people would begin to: a) respect teachers and b) respect kids. Both groups are fine and really need no intervention whatsoever.

4. I had a child at 18 and both of us are not only fine, but are over achieving for our age, thankyouverymuch.

5. I am scared of cats and dogs. I don’t want to be, but I am.

6. I was once walking down the street, chewing bubble gum with my mouth open when a lady bug flew in. DO NOT EAT LADY BUGS. THEY TASTE VERY VERY BAD.

7. My grandfather was called G’pa, which is random enough, but his real name was Cyril. I feel slightly guilty that I could not name one of my children after him because he was possibly one of the greatest influences on my life . . . but who could call their child Cyril?

Now, I guess I need to tag. I choose to tag:

Suzy; Katt; Kelly; Stef; Hannah; Nat; and Holly

We are budgie sitting! My Dad has gone to Queensland to see my little brother for his thirtieth birthday, and Daphne is staying with us. It is a bit strange with so much chirping noise in the house, but not unpleasant. At times Daphne can be heard saying things in my Dad’s voice through a budgie modulator. This is disconcerting to say the least. However, I could get used to the wolf whistles! She is cute:

A disclaimer before I go further. The camera situation has not been rectified. Today’s photos are even worse than some others we have had recently. However, I prefer to add pictures, so bear with me. I have used the Kodak software to add a spotlight, hoping this will add a little something to my photos. It does – black edges. It kind of reminds me of a very bad episode of Neighbours when Bouncer had a dream. That may have been the last episode I ever watched. I am hoping a new digital camera will drop out of the sky any day now.

The Tropicana sock is no more. I stretched the sock over my calf and there was a muddying of colours. I am now doing the Retro Rib from Favourite Socks:

So far so good. I have stretched it out as far as I can and it looks fine, so it is definitely the mixture of pattern and yarn. Such a shame because unstretched it looked fabulous! If it was intended for me I would have continued, but because at this point this is still the Sock apalooza I have to be a bit more discerning. What do you think?

The Mexican sock (so named by the Spunk himself) is coming along nicely. I have passed the row where you knit with a waste yarn and then keep on going – this is where the heel will be (you can see a darker line. So far this is the only knitting I have done with the fourteen balls of Zhivago I bought!). I am going to try a sewn cast off for this sock. I think. I will google stretchy cast offs, unless someone has some advice?


I received a letter from my Knitter Letter Swapper that I wrote to!


Thanks Vicky! Hi! I am writing back tomorrow!!

I did some spinning today. I really need to devote some time to this hobby, consistently. It is not easy. How do people make it look so easy? Tomorrow I am going to hit the books for some technical ideas and advice and spend a good amount of time practicing. I think I am sitting too low. Where do you spin if you spin? I might have to try all the chairs I have until I find the right height.

Tonight we went out for the third night in a row! I have never eaten out so often in my life. On Thursday we had a dinner at a nice Italian restaurant not far from home. I ate garlic prawns which were passable, the Spunk had veal. Last night we went to a bar and bistro type place which was lovely. I had chicken and shitake mushrooms, and the Spunk had a Caesar Salad. Tonight we ate with family and had Canneloni and a lovely dessert of lemon tart and blueberries. I feel full of too much food. Tomorrow might be toast and cereal all day. I love cereal. I could eat it day and night. I am supposed to be heading out for lunch, but I am not sure that the budget or the waistline can take it!

Two weeks until the holidays. I am going to make it, just! We have a busy couple of weeks coming up with three birthdays in six days in the family, drama competitions and youth theatre plays, end of term barbecues involving 450 sausages and 206 children, parent/teacher interviews with us in the parent chairs for a change and untold unforseen events that seem to pepper our lives at the moment. Thank goodness for the escape that knitting and the interknit allow!

Stay tuned – Little Purl has read the Friday Night Knitting Club, and since I am not going to get a chance before it is due back at the library after waiting months for it to arrive, she will be reviewing it for us! I will just have to wait until it is either released as an audio book or for Julia Roberts to lead me through the story.

Flickr Photos

i am knitting

  • Pinwheel Blanket
  • Sassymetrical
  • Socks x 3
  • Button Me Up V2.0
  • i will knit

  • Flower Basket Shawl
  • Seamless Hybrid Sweater
  • Rogue
  • i knitted 08

  • Central Park Hoodie
  • Back to Basics III
  • Smooth Monkeys
  • Retro Rib Socks
  • Fetching I
  • Fetching II
  • Fetching III
  • Shalom
  • Wicked
  • Wickeder
  • Woodland Shawlette
  • Jumper for ILC
  • Socks for ILC
  • Hat for ILC
  • Booga Bag I
  • Booga Bag II
  • Washcloths for Mother
  • Mini Socks
  • Spunk Socks again
  • Cuzmo
  • Cozmo
  • Rose
  • Olivia
  • Shalom
  • Asymmetrical Cabled Cardi
  • Juliet
  • Liesl
  • Arch Socks
  • Button Me Up V1.0
  • Boy Teacher Cardigan
  • Camp Cowl
  • Felicity Hat
  • Zippity Blanket
  • Grandmother's Favourite Washcloth x 5
  • Apple Dishcloth x 2
  • Patonyle Socks
  • i knitted 07

  • Mother In Law Socks 2
  • Fon Sox
  • Elspiral Socks
  • I Can't Say No socks
  • Pomatomus
  • MIL1 Tea Cosy
  • MIL2 Tea Cosy
  • Green and Purple! socks
  • RPM socks
  • SIL socks
  • Tiny Madam Cardigan
  • Country Silk Cardigan
  • Monkey
  • Silver Scarf/Belt
  • Skinny Inca Scarf
  • Pink Fizzy Scarf
  • Super Spunk Socks
  • Diagonal Cross Rib Socks
  • Baudelaires
  • Mexicana Socks for Spunk
  • Opal Socks for Spunk
  • Jumper and Hat for Teeny Guy
  • Embossed Leaves Sockapaloozas
  • Socks for Robyn
  • Montego Bay Scarf
  • Sparkly Hat
  • Tiny Madam Cardigan 2
  • Waving Lace Socks
  • Swirly Girl Socks
  • Tiny Kevat Shawl
  • Baby Beanie
  • Embossed Leaves for Xmas
  • Mother's Back to Basics
  • Friend Back to Basics
  • Socks for Barb
  • Socks for MIL2
  • Socks for No1Son
  • Tea Cosy Swap Cosy
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