Wednesday, 31 October 2007

No Guilt Stash

I hereby adopt the No Guilt Stash manifesto as developed by Bells and Amy.

No Guilt Stash Manifesto

I will neither defend nor apologize for my stash. My yarn brings me joy, and therefore brings others in my life joy.

Through my hands I do good in the world. I knit with love for friends, family, and strangers. Yarn is my medium.

I promise not to let my stash acquisition interfere with personal relationships or financial health; yet neither will I give in to pressure from significant others to reduce my stash.

I will not judge others' stash. I can admire it, be inspired by it, even covet certain skeins, but it is not my place to pass judgment on quantity or quality.

I recognize that stash management is personal. I fully intend to knit my beautiful yarns, but I refuse to be guilted into doing so on anyone's schedule other than my own.

I understand that it may take many years for a yarn to reveal its destiny, and that yarns that have been in my stash for a seemingly long time just haven't met their correct pattern. I won't feel guilty about this.

I also recognize that yarn can have many destinies. It can be a reminder of a special trip, a friend, a time in one's life. It can be comfort or inspiration. It doesn't always need to be knitted to fulfill its destiny. I accept that some yarns in my possession may never be knit by me.

I believe in the karmic properties of stash. I willingly share with other knitters, and I realize the stash, like love, will grow when it is shared.


Thanks Amy and Bells!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

That's my boy!

This afternoon, Chez Kitchentable......

Pirate Jim: Mama, I take basket, I go shopping (holding small plastic shopping basket)

Mama: OK, darling, what will you buy?

PJ: Eggs, we need eggs.

(a few minutes later....)

PJ: Look Mama, I go to shop. I kaufen (buy).

In case you missed it....

One skein of 4-ply and one skein of 10-ply Waratah Fibres yarns, acquired at yesterday's visit to Helen's home (as blogged here by Happy Spider) and yet to be RRSSS'd.

Boy's got taste.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

The postman always rings twice

Well, he would if I stopped ambushing him halfway down the driveway and let him get the to front door.

The wheel needed feeding. So, with thanks for all of your recommendations, I did a little shopping. How much do we love the innernets?

Yesterday, my lovely postie brought me this:

Merino tops from Virginia Farm Woolworks. And a spare bobbin and a niddy noddy. I've gotta get set up, right?

I've also discovered the lolly shop that is Ewe Give Me the Knits. Mandie does amazing things and tonight, the poor postie had the parcel containing this ripped from his hands.

Chacha (top; a little than I expected!) and Skip a beat tops.

Cheeky Cherry, and Under the Sea

Moroccan Nights and Mulled Wine (hmm, sounds like a good idea to me!):

It would be fairly safe to say I got a little excited at EGMTK; I plan to spend quite some time with the plain tops before I tackle these beautiful dyed fibres.

And I may possibly have reached husbandorial limits too. While I was standing on a chair trying to get decent light to take photos of my haul, he wandered past, shaking his head. The words "sick", "obsessed" and "crazy" all passed his lips.....

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Make mine a Guinness

I noticed a little quiz over at Kuka's blog...

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

I do love Dublin. Especially because it's filled with Irish people with Irish accents, my favourite accent! Hey Amy, do ya reckon Tom Brady has an Irish accent??

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Did you pick it?

Ten championship points and a free set of steak knives to all those who picked that yesterday's photo of my newly finished sock was posed on the treadle of an Ashford Traditional spinning wheel.

Which has come to live with me!

A few weeks back, Jejune mentioned to me that Othlon now had two wheels, and that they didn't really have the space for this one. Especially since they're moving house soon, would I like to borrow the Ashford for a time?

Is a bear a catholic?? Would I!

So yesterday afternoon we had a bit of a playdate, and Othlon showed me to drive it. (please excuse the hair. I was going for a Farrah Fawcett flick but I think I may have missed. Exacerbated by sitting beside the very glam Ms Othlon with her sleek new haircut - way to look daggy and slept in, George)

And after an hour or so, I had a nice little bobbin of spun yarn (the colours have photographed somewhat more...vibrantly than in rool life):

And then Othlon showed me how to skein it:

And now I have it to love and pet and call my very own. (That's some of Othlon's hand-dyed fibre she let me play with, by the way. I've got twice her years - how come she's so clever??? And has such groovy hair? 'snot fair)

How much fun is this spinning caper?

So now, of course, I'm desperate to know where one obtains things such as tops, or batts, or fibre, or whatever it is I have to use to feed to beastie now residing in the spare room. It's getting very hungry! If you have any suggestions for reputable sellers, and also for good reference materials, I'd love to know.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

The Sock is My Bitch

'Nuff said.

With a very special thanks to Jejune for showing me kitchener stitch.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode, in which out heroine explains the context for this photo....

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Sweet surrender

You are going to think I'm the worst kind of trollop, but I'm here to admit that I am smitten once again.

Last time it was the flashy, trashy Clappy that came on like the executive assisstant after a few bubblies at the office christmas bash*; this time I have been gently wooed and finally succumbed to the subtle and serene beauty of the humble sock.

I'm not going to claim it's been all sunsets and heavy breathing - no indeed, this relationship got off to a slow (dare I say rocky?) start - those first few rows on dpns made finding our rhythm together a little tricky.

I was slow to warm up to the round and round and round of rib, then stocking stitch. But I thought we were getting somewhere - like ready to start the heel.

Then, as is often the way, it took an outsider to observe that things may not all be fine and dandy. "Hmmm, its rather...big, dontcha think George?" observed Bells on the weekend. "But I'm using Happy Spider's basic pattern in the small size! How can anything possibly be wrong?" said I.

A count of stitches showed that I had 76 - fine, if I was doing the calf shaping as written into Ms Spider's pattern. Which decreases the number of stitches to closer to 60 when its time to start the heel. Der.

Luckily for me, Ms Spider's patterns come with a free 24-hour counselling hotline. Several angst-ridden emails and a calming phone call later, she had the sock and I back on speaking terms, and we felt like we'd really turned a corner in our relationship.

And here it is: one sock, stitch count waaaay out, but with a turned heel and partly decreased gusset:

Isn't it pretty? It might be a little wonky, but but I'm satisfied now that the sock and I are back on solid ground. I'm flying down the foot, and have discovered what everyone else already knows: the deep and abiding love that is sock knitting.

A comfortable, easy relationship; now we've got the maths sorted, certainly not high maintenance. No jealousy here - its happy to be picked up and put down at a moments notice, for a round or two while Pirate Jim eats breakfast or while I'm waiting for the pasta to boil (assuming the pirate isn't trying to play with the knife block or pretend the dog is the dishwasher and trying to find the place to put the detergent tablet).

It might be short grabs of togetherness, but its quality time. And that's what counts.

*disclosure: I have edited this analogy - my first attempt was a little unthinking and possibly hurtful to people I care about. Sorry if you read it and were offended - that wasn't my intention. Think first, post later, George!

Sunday, 14 October 2007

The drought has broken

Looking back at my blog, I realsied my last FO was the Dayflower scarf way back in August. Yikes! Anyone would think I haven't even been knitting - although I'm sure Beloved would very quickly disabuse anyone of that misplaced notion.

So I am very pleased to finally report on the completion of Little Miss M's Birthday Jacket (aka acres of moss stich).

For once, the colour is pretty good!

Pattern: Zip-up Jacket from Adorable Knits for Tiny Tots by Zoe Mellor, in the 3-4 years size

Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 12 ply in Tuscan; 500g (the pattern stated 400g - a big thanks to the good folk at Bendy who sorted through the store until they found an extra ball in the correct dyelot!)

Sticks: 5mm straights

Modifications: I left off the two front pockets and a pocket on the upper sleeve. This was a deadline knit and I wasn't about to make things any harder than they needed to be.

Comments: this was a very easy knit, once I got over my initial dislike of moss stitch. There is not terribly much shaping, and it goes quite fast in the 12 ply.

Disclosure: the finishing was outsourced (thanks Mum!). Didnt she do a fab job? I would like it noted that I started, but found getting seams and stitches ot sit properly with the moss stitch wasn't easy. Being a gift, I didnt want it look like crap, so I let Mum work her magic.

Coming soon - 1 sock, O's vest (actually finished by me!) and some clappy progress.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

URGENT - Feral Sock Warning!


Issued: Tuesday October 9th 2007

Department: Bureau of Invasive Garments, Department of Knitting and Associated Crafts (DoKAC), Canberra

Priority: HIGH

The Department of Knitting and Associated Crafts (DoKAC) issued a High Priority Alert today in the wake of several sightings of the potentially dangerous and highly invasive Faux feral species of sock. All residents, especially knitters and crocheters, are warned to be on the look-out for specimens.

Faux feral socks are easily recognised by their distinctively patterned pelts, usually in contrasting but complimentary colours. They are most commonly found in pairs, but older specimens may occur singly.

F. feral can survive in most urban settings. They are excellent climbers, and are generally arboreal.

Pair of F. feral in their preferred habitat
F. feral are generally shy and will seek cover.

However, when mating, as with all species of sock, they are found on the ground in sheltered habitats.

Mating pair of F. feral. Note the distinctive entwined coupling.

F. feral will often approach domestic environments to find food and water, particularly in the current drought conditions.

Most importantly, residents should be aware that domestic socks of all species, particularly Business sockii, are in danger of predation by F. feral. A shortage of the natural prey items of F. feral has led to increased incidence of injury and death of B. sockii. Residents should avoid leaving domestic socks unattended, especially if they are tethered.

F. feral feeding on domestic sock species

Any sightings of Faux feral should be reported to DoKAC immediately on the hotline number 1800-FERALSOCK.

Residents should not confuse Faux feral with the similarly patterned, perfectly harmless domesticated sock, Faux fairisle. Should they, Trent?

Saturday, 6 October 2007

My precioussssss

I arrived home from SnB on Thursday night to find a parcel waiting for me.

It was my prize from Donyale's recent competition.

I hope the Clappy doesn't mind sharing me for a while, 'cause I am soooo smitten.....

Thanks Donyale, purveyor of fine Knitpicks and craftswoman of immense talent!

Oh, and if you want to catch up on what PJ's been up to, check out Bell's post about Friday. We all had so much fun! But I can see I'm going to have to keep a close eye on that child! I'm not sure who's a bigger flirt.....

Thursday, 4 October 2007

On love and lust

I've been very slack on posting the progress of my Clapotis, especially since Tink and I are supposed to KAL-ing. And Lynne has joined in.

I was waiting to discover if it's love or just lust, since the thrill had (temporarily) gone. It could just be that I was suffering from performance anxiety due to the deadline projects I've got going on. There's only so much Georgie-love to go around after all.

But now that the moss stitch jacket is done (just the finishing remains and I'm outsourcing that - Hi Mum!) I've found my focus and done another repeat since I took this shot yesterday afternoon.

I think I can say that absence does make the heart grow fonder.
G x

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

They followed me home - can I keep them?

This weekend was a long one here in our part of Australia, so we packed up Pirate Jim, the dog and the cat, and headed off to visit my parents. They live about 5 hours south-west of Canberra.

Despite the availability of free baby-sitting, there was only a few minutes of Ravelry-ing, no blogging and almost no knitting.

But there were these:

And I have absolutely no idea how this made it's way into the back of the car:

But at least there were these inside:

Let's here it for baby-sitting grandparents!


p.s. My Ravelry name is Georgiegirl, if you're looking for me.

The Luckiest Knitter in the World

I am claiming this title today, because I got an email last night informing me that I had won Donyale's September Knitpicks Comp!

You could've knocked me down with a feather (although that may have had more to do with the 2 G&Ts that I'd just had) - the last thing I won was the Narre Warren North Pony Club Member of the Year in 1988!

So a huge thankyou to Donnyale! And I 'd like to thank my mum and dad, and my lovely husband for supporting my knitting, and my darling little boy, and my knitting friends, and all the sheep, and...what do you mean time's up? I've only just started.....