Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Why would a "punk rock girl" have flowers in her hair?

And why in the performance of "Black fingernails - red wine" that I saw on tv recently, did the lead singer say "omo" is this the beginning of product placement in songs?

Why did my blog get 600 hits last tuesday?

Did it have anything to do with Yoga socks ? because I have been getting a lot of emails about them this week.

No, sorry, I can't knit them for you.

yes I know that you are busy.

Yes it would have been on my statcounter - but I didn't check it until friday, and it only records the details of the last 100 pageloads.

Yes I may have to upgrade.

Why is it that every time we organise to go away lately - it gets cancelled at the last minute?

How am I going to live without Deus coffee?

How have I lived without Atomic coffee for the past 2 years?

I think I just answered my own question...

Where can I get Koigu in Oz? What are we going to do about Knitpicks?

Why did my alarm go off at 5.27 am? Have I forgotten something?

Why does the thought of having to shift again make me feel queasy - and speaking to moving company representatives makes me physically ill? (truly - this is a tell all blog)

What are the inhabitants of Bougainville called? Isn't it too hot to wear black jeans there?

How did I accumulate this much sock yarn?

What if they lose it? I'm going to have to catalogue every ball aren't I?

I'm feeling nauseous again.

Is it wrong to covet a Prada wallet?

It is small...but perfectly formed.

And when Tiffany's say "we don't sell jewellery - we sell the blue box" why can't you just buy the bloody blue box?

What is it about the blue box?

"Babies are a wonderful way to start people" yes I agree - but bunnies would be a wonderful way to end them, or kitties...can we start genetically engineering people to be cute and cuddly when they age?

Why was Boston Legal on so late? Was it so that I would have to buy the DVD?

and why does Bones seem to be on at a different time every week? to keep me on my toes?

or to make me buy the DVD?

trimmed the tree yet?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

in absentia

my excuse - my Mama was here from Auckland - for the last time before we too go home. We had a great week - Blaise had a week off school, so everything worked well, there was much shopping...

We visited Goulburn on thursday, we were aiming for Canberra ( the nation's capital) but undershot and got waylaid by lunch at the Paragon cafe
a trip back in time!

Then a visit to the Big Merino! Blaise grabbed the moment and the Philishave from the glovebox.

Isn't it cool when you can bend the rules of physics to your own devices!

we visited the new Sydney Wildlife Experience - the conclusion? GO! The butterfly house alone kept us captivated for 20 minutes, the place is very well organised to ensure that tourists stay out of the sun, and so well dsigned that you don't know what is around the next corner

The Nana survived despite our carelessnees - we exposed her to the perils of sun and alcohol, good Australian things - and she pulled through, what a trooper!

No plans have been made for our return to NZ, The skirt reminded me that knitters are alive and well and living in Auckland (thank goodness) we are looking at houses and should return home for a few days soon to hopefully purchase before we move. I am living in a dreamworld - but I know reality will hit any moment.

In knitting news, the angioplasty sock is moving along slowly ( we had the Nana here, and were having to much fun for socks!) one Elfine sock is finished SS syndrome has set in. For those visiting on saturday for the cake degustation - I will be sure to post my address and phone number on wednesday or thursday.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Cause everything is different over there*

so, the post I have been avoiding - and there will be little detail as there is still some sensitivity.

Just over 2 years ago we uprooted 3 of our girls and dragged them kicking and screaming (not quite literally - but almost) to Sydney.We promised that it would just be for 2 years, a new adventure, a broadening of horizons, a wise career move.

2 years later - and we are torn...when we lived in Auckland we both worked fulltime, and had 5 kids at home, we used to visit our country cottage almost every weekend, and every weekend I was torn, I felt as though I had 2 lives - a mad crazy one, and a peaceful invigorating one, I wanted to live in the country,but circumstances did not allow, commuting was out of the question - it was just a bit too far, moving was not an option. Now I feel like I have a Sydney life and an Auckland life - let alone the cottage!

My relationship with Sydney has been rocky, I love living near the city, the excitement, the shopping, restaurants, King St, I hate the crowds and the noise,the pollution, the violence, the heat. I have avoided forming friendships because I always knew I would be leaving, and have kept the nicest of people at arms length,because at 38 I know that leaving hurts. Spending family time with our dear friend Jason, playing "Articulate" will never be the same.I have seen my girls grow from children into young women here, confident and outgoing. I joined SSK, and met the most amazing group of people, scientists, singers and artists all brought together by a fetish for yarn, I treasure those afternoons in that little upstairs room at Barmuda,drinking tea and listening to the banter, catching Mary-Helen surveying the group with affection for all the world like a proud mother hen.

I don't know what the knitting group situation is like in Auckland - please email me if you know of any, or even any of the crafting groups I have heard of,any Auckland bloggers out there? I can't be the only jafa knitblogger. I am thinking of starting a crafting group myself (Anne get that cross-stitch out, and let Anna know she is in my sights) it will be in the central/west for anyone keen - email me!

Discovering this country, hiking in the Blue Mountains, delighting over kangaroos, koalas, lizards, snakes and even spiders, revelling in the open road as I drive down to Wollongongfor SnB with another delightful group of chicks, given a choice I would buy the house next to Ailsa and sit with her on her back verandah in the evenings, knitting and setting the world to rights, planning escapades with Donni and Sharon.

Some time after December 20, we are going home, to Auckland. The stress levels are winding up again, the calendar is out on the kitchen table, my organisational side is kicking in - here we go again, movers (what if they lose my yarn?)Where are we going to live? do I go over and buy a house before we leave? or do I include the family in that decision? the one thing I do know now is that it will all be ok, that we will muddle through,the boxes will eventually all be ticked.

This is where you guys come in - an important even for me, some closure. I am hosting a knitting soiree on Saturday 2 December from 12.30 onwards, there will be refreshments and nibbles (and cake of course!) Everyone who knows me, has met me, or reads the blog and feels that they know me is welcome - seriously, this is my last chance to spend time with you, so please feel free to drop in.We will be on the roof of my building, there is a delightful sun-drenched deck (plenty of shade available) loads of seating (heaps more than the photo), views of the entire city. Drop in for 10 minutes or stay until evening.I will post the address and entry directions a couple of days prior to 02/12. emails are welcome, to let me get an idea of numbers - but not mandatory.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

on tiptoe

The angioplasty sock has dragged interminably, it found a new lease on life, or rather I did, last week and completed it on monday evening, tried it on Flash prior to sewing up the toe...and yuk...I obviously had not decreased anough sts at the gusset, and it was too loose. Flash was fine "no one will ever know" but I'll know, you will know everytime you put the wretched things on - because I'll have to make the other one match! I did the only thing I could do, I ripped - and Flash looked aghast as the toe, then foot, then heel of his sock disappeared, I then re-wrote everything in my little notebook so that I don't make the mistake again, and happily re-knitted the heel and gusset, and told him that it's all a walk in the park from here on in, so I can put the sock safely to the side while I work on something else for a few days.

On monday I dyed all of my remaining fingering weight alpaca, around 700grams, for some unknown stupid dumbarse reason I thought that just because the other times I dyed this yarn the colours had been muted and misty, that this time would be different - I would mix my dyes stronger, leave them on longer, cook them longer, use mind control if necessary to make that alpaca (did I mention it was also bleached?) pick up the colour. So I painted on my undercolours, so far so good, painted on the darker, stronger, brighter overcolours - wahoo!beautiful, exactly as I had planned...into the microwave for 7 minutes...a wee rest, then into the water - out of the water and yuk, colours have faded - I can't even figure out where that dye went, it wasn't in the rinse water! I tried cooking even longer, and that worked slightly, but the optimum time was 8 minutes, it didn't get any better than that. I hadn't ruined 500g of alpaca, as they are good baby colours, so I can always use it up in that way, but it was disappointing.Finally my brain caught up, I painted the last few skeins in muted, bleached seashell colours, beiges, salmony pinks, softest blue, silvery grey, I listened to the yarn, and it worked beautifully.

I then went about looking for a sock pattern to use with my new pretty yarn, something lacey yes! seashell type lace would be perfect - nothing I found corresponded with the idea in my head,I was not going to design a pattern myself - lace socks are scarey right? you need a degree in maths to work out the shaping...and then I found the Elfine's socks,(scroll down a bit) designed by Anna, who is a perfectionist of the highest order, her designs are exquisite.

The socks in the picture are green, and the lace is leafy, but still I thought they would suit the yarn, and then I struck a problem - Elfine's socks are knitted on 2 circs, while this something I have heard of, I never wanted to go to that dark place myself, loving as I do my 4 bamboo dpns. I studied the pattern, yes I could alter it to suit the dpns, but it would be clumsy, the magic of the pattern is in the 2 circs...so I took a deep breath, found 2 wee circs, and using Judy's magic cast on, I commenced to knit scarey lace socks on 2 weirdo circs.(did I mention I have never done toe-up before either...)

At first I felt clever - Judy's cast on is beautiful, the pictures are clear and easy to follow, then as I worked the toe increases I felt clumsy, like a new knitter, the circs dangled in an annoying fashion,but I just kept telling myself that dpns were a little unweildly at first, and I was right - it got better. I am halfway through the first foot, and loving it, the yarn is so soft and buttery, the colours soothing and evocative, it is easy to tink back a few sts when the count is slightly off, how could I have thought this was hard? why have I waited so long? I am already designing my first lace sock in my head, while I am knitting the sock I never thought I would knit - knitting lets me do the "one day a thing that scares you" without placing myself in mortal danger, it helps me to realise that there is nothing I will encounter that can't be broken down into bite-sized pieces and managed.

Between typing this and posting it, I was looking around the blogs and arrived at Nora's, where she has just finished - you guessed it - Elfine's socks! They look so pretty in the blue and green colourway.

Another find this week - Dave from "Sticks and string" the podcast came to SSK on saturday, his podcast is easy to listen to, and well produced, he has obviously put a lot of work into organising it, and I wish him well.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


post-cleaning, we have found ourselves with an excess of "stuff", the stash fits into 6 plastic boxes, which are currently living in the lounge as they have outgrown the utility closet fondly known as my workroom.
The work knitting doesn't fit on the blocking board - the couch has been pressed into service. It's a good thing that Flash is in lockdown at the University this week, his favourite seat has been useful, and I have been able to work late into the evening - a no-no when a spouse is around, but I have missed him, they have him organised from 6.15 am to 11.15 pm, so I get to speak to him for a total of about 5 minutes a day - when he has toilet breaks.

and my interest in "organising" has reached Martha-esque proportions (note that I have not organised myself to the extent that I may be called Martha - I just dream about it - the organising that is...not being Martha - that's just creepy) this ribbon organiser has to be the ultimate.

and I have a favour to ask of one of you, dear readers...I have a little pile, about a dozen objects, which need a home, they are all samples and I am not willing to sell them, as I like what I sell to be as close to perfect as I can get it - these may have stitches showing through, or maybe the shape isn't what I wanted, whatever, most are in Organic merino - which is not machine washable - so there is no point in my giving them to a charity, not fair on the recipients to be given an item which then turns into a drowned lump in the washing machine, and I wouldn't expect people who having enough problems coping with what life is throwing at them to spend even 5 minutes handwashing baby clothes.

The question is - is there anyone out there, who lives in a COLD climate, who has contact with parents to be,(the clothes are mostly 0-3 months size) who you think would be open to the idea of handwashing little sweaters and cardigans - all that is really needed is a swish in Eucalan or Kookaburra woolwash, doesn't even need rinsing. Please do NOT contact me if you just want to hand them out to friends and family as baby gifts - you can go knit those yourself!


Cece got in first, and I know those sweaters are going to be loved.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

to do today

If you haven't already you must go and visit Pia's (sorry, Alison's) blog and see what the delightful Miss is wearing, look out she'll have her own "what not to wear" column by the time she is five - syndicated in the all the best publications!

Found this gorgeous place (courtesy of My Mama) "Apple of my eye" if you need a gift for a baby (and you have already sent them a Hoodie from Just Jussi) go here...now! ( the Box tower - Shaker ABC is so cute)

Ailsa's comment that her husband may get lucky more often if she had a lace sampler on the bedroom ceiling was a fascinating one, I have started looking at my Barbara Walker treasuries slightly differently...but Ailsa, have you thought about getting a four poster bed, and making a complete canopy out of lace samples...things could get way more adventurous! (running and ducking for cover)

Ok, to make up for that one - you have probably seen Patricia Waller's amazing work, but if not - get thee over there immediately - I know it's not right - but I am liking the conjoined twins...