Friday, March 30, 2007

Bored out of my little rabbit brain

Now, I could show you a picture of my finished top, but my husband, bless him, can't take a photo to save himself. Poor fella has a super bad case of camera shake, otherwise known around these parts as 'Parky hands'. I really should stop ragging him about it - his catch cry now is "Tripod! All I need is a tripod, I tells ya!"

So, may I present instead le craft activitie du jour: Bunny Ears!
Well, it filled in 10 minutes...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Playing with our new camera

That's right - we have a new camera! It's one of these. What.A.Machine. All I can say is... that I have so much to learn. If anybody knows of any good photography tip sites, please send them my way.
But the best bit - the zoooooooom. I think I was standing about 20 metres away when I took that shot. I LOVE THE ZOOM! We went to a wedding on the weekend, and I got so many great (for me) shots of the bride and groom during the ceremony. That's right, folks, it's all about that zoom. Huzzah!
Gosh - just come in knitting information, to be broadcast immediately: I am thisclose to finishing off the last sleeve of my top. Wish me luck (and that Grumbles has a nice long sleep, otherwise it'll never get done!).

Friday, March 23, 2007


Psssst - wanna see my new dress?

Project Specs:
Pattern - Simplicity 4224, size 8
Description - Strapless fitted sundress, with flared skirt and fitted bodice
Fabric - Crappy old 100% cotton that I had lying about in my fabric stash, 2 metres
Notions - 40cm zipper, 1.3 metres elastic for bodice, metallic seed beads and sequinned motif

The best bit about this dress is the attached necklace. Bwahahahah, the number of people who have said to me "Oh, I love that dress, and where did you get the cool necklace?" Get the cool necklace? I MADE the cool necklace!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

That's right - more cardigan talk!

Meh. I still can't decide what to do about the froggy stripe cardigan. Which led me to, ahem, purchase some more wool... make this!

I'm incorrigible! But it's so cute, and I couldn't resist. (Oh, and how cute is that little girl? And she has a bird - a bird! - in her hair. Love it! Hmmm, wonder if I could get away with wearing a bird in my hair. D'oh, digressing) Besides, I would be failing in my motherly duty if I didn't make sure Grumbles had something warm to wear over winter, so, really, I have to make it. (Did I convince you? I convinced me!)
However - there is to be no knitting of pink yarn goodness until I finish the final sleeve of this. Not even to swatch. Dems da rules. Feel free to run over my cat if I break them (gah, alright, so I don't own a cat, but let's not quibble).
Oh, and pattern is from the Phildar Pitchoun Automne/Hiver 2006/7. And it comes with an English Translation, phew.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Of cardigans and rain

Last night we had the first uninterrupted sleep we've had since Grumbles came down with her rash. Talk about bliss! And the rash has finally subsided - phew. Not fun at all, especially when we were thisclose to carting her off to the Royal Children's Hospital.
This morning, as I groggily lay in bed, contemplating opening my eyes and wondering why I felt a little strange (oh, that's how you feel when you get more than three hours sleep in a row!), I heard the sound of... rain! Finally! I know, I know, it's not the end of the drought, but it was so good to peep outside the window and see the sky, heavy and grey, and things being - well - wet! And puddles! And people with umbrellas! I even went out and stood in it, letting it soak into my jimjams. Tee hee, what a dag! I'm even thinking about planting an autumn vegie garden.

In other fascinating news, I'm toying with the idea of knitting a cardigan for Grumbles, using the Jo Sharp Aran Tweed I found in my stash, as shown in the pic above. However, the following problems have cropped up: (1) I only have those two balls in my stash, which means I would need to buy more, which would make the cardigan somewhat more expensive than I can afford, and really quite defeats the purpose of knitting from stash; (2) I'm not using a pattern, just making it up on the fly (yes, very bad idea, and rather likely to induce tears/tantrum/right royal strop/all three; (3) I'm not so sure that I'm really into the greeness of it. I can't decide if it looks Etonian or just froggish.

Having said that, I don't even know if there is an Etonian look, but heck - I like the sound of it. Thoughts, peoples of the internet - to cardi or not to cardi?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday in the City

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

Bits and pieces today:

- A few weeks ago when we were riding along the Yarra Trail, we came across this climbing wall that has been built under the South Eastern freeway. How cool is that?!
- Fascinating article in The Guardian about James Lovelock's thoughts on the future.
- Poor old Grumbles came up with an awful itchy rash last evening, which kept us up all night. We raced her down to the doctors first thing this morning, and it turns out she's had an allergic reaction to something, most likely something she ate. I pondered and pondered, and was rather puzzled, as everything she's had in the past few days she eats on a very regular basis with no problems. Then I remembered I made some custard passionfruit scrolls yesterday. After checking out the ingredients list on the custard (preservatives, colourings, flavours... yikes!), my money's on that.
- Bad joke for the week: An inflatable boy goes to an inflatable school with inflatable teachers. One day he takes a pin to school. The headmaster calls him in to his office, and says "You've let me down, you've let yourself down, you've let the whole school down." Bwahahahahah!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Three needle bind off, where have you been all my life?

If you remember from one of my previous posts, I was getting a little bit nervous about attempting one. I always do this - talk myself into thinking it'll be sooooo much harder than it is, then procrastinate for days, even weeks, until I finally summon up the courage, all the while muttering ridiculous things like "Climbing Everest would be easier than this! As would saving a whole menagerie of rabbits from the 14th floor of a burning building!" etc etc. And then, when I finally do it, I find it's so much easier than I ever expected, and then, of course, proceed to swagger around the room, acting all nonchalant. "The old three needle bind off? Baby, it's a cinch! Nothing to it!"

Ahem. So, if you've never attempted one, It was just as easy as casting off in the normal fashion, except you had to juggle three needles instead of two. Easy peasy, I tells ya. And the resulting seam... what seam? You can barely discern it. Ahhh, this technique is a keeper, fer sure. I referenced my copy of Vogue Knitting, and this marvellous site. Honestly, I'm never seaming a shoulder seam again!
On a different note, I was emailing a friend on Friday, snuffling away as I did so, and informed her that I intended to spend the entire long weekend (hooray for Labour Day!) on the couch knitting. Lie I did not. Not only did I do the three needle bind off (man, I'm getting tired of typing that!), but I started and finished an entire arm! Wooo hoooo! One arm to go and this little baby will be ready to be seamed and then worn.
However, I did make a little time for some potato printing - awww! Except then she kept trying to eat the potatoes... not so awww.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I am so scarred

Today I have a cold. Not a nasty one, just annoying. Galumph is in the bedroom, doing a conference call with collegues in the US and UK, and I'm bored and on the computer, so it's time for the "Strange things that have occurred to me that required medical attention" post. Squeamish people, leave now!

(In chronological order)

- Tubes in my ears and nose as a child. I didn't actually realise I was also getting them in my nose until the doctor popped his head in the door and asked our ward of three very scared children who was getting what, where. Thanks, uninformative parents!

- Braces on my teeth for SIX years. Pretty much all romantic potential wiped our during those oh-so-important high school years, just because I couldn't stop sucking my thumb until the orthodontist sternly told me I had to (hey, still only in primary school then, 'kay?). Too laaaaaate, though. Although I do think Garry Gavin (yes, that was his real name) was trying to woo me by asking me to smile so he could watch the 12:15 roll on by. Jerk.

- Four rather painful operations during high school to removed my 'giant hairy pigmented nevus', otherwise known as my birthmark, which is on my right arm. These ops consisted of the surgeon cutting a hole in the centre of the birthmark, and then stretching the skin together and sewing it up. After a month in a half-cast, and a year down the track, after the skin had stretched enough, he would have another crack at it. Unfortunately, they ran out of skin, so I have the remainder of a birthmark, replete with angry pink scar. Cool fact: If I hold my arm at a certain angle, you can see the concave mark where I used to have skin and bone and fat. Yes, it is rather gross.

- Sliced the top of my thumb off on a meat slicer whilst at work in a supermarket deli in year 11. Panicked, grabbed the thumb (still with stinky plastic glove on hand) and raced to the back of the fruit 'n' veg section to see my friend Van, who took me out the back to our boss. By this time I was getting a bit lightheaded, and couldn't listen to their simple instructions of "Let go of the thumb so that we can take a look". Ahem. Ended up passing out, and having a fit, and whilst fitting managed to do a fantastic right hook, connecting with my lovely boss's face. Poor thing had to throw her shirt away, being so besplattered as it was with my blood (Did you know that the thumb has more nerve endings in it than all the other digits put together, resulting in one helluva blood spurt when the top is sliced off). And when I finally got to the hospital, and the doctor asked me where the top of my thumb was, so he could sew it back on, I could only shrug and inform him that it was still at work, nestled amongst the salami on the meat slicer. Thankfully the thumb nail grew back over the scar, so it pretty much looks normal.

- Tried to donate blood in first year uni at the Blood Bank. Fitted again, only this time I woke up to four nurses around me: One holding down my legs (apparently their flailing around was beginning to disturb the other donors), one holding down my arms (ditto), one simultaneously fanning me and holding a wet cloth to my forehead (hee hee, when I came to I thought for a split second I was underwater, as she'd managed to dribble the water into my eyes), and one ripping the needle from my arm. That bit kinda hurt. A few weeks later I received a letter from the Blood Bank saying "Thanks for trying, but don't ever come back again!"

- Cut two knuckles on my right hand on another meat slicer, this time second year uni. Once again passed out, and was only saved from a bad concussion by my boss who caught me as I swooned (it might have been romantic except that a - he was married; b - he had this comb-over thing going on at the front of his head even though he wasn't bald, and kept it in place with hair spray so that it never moved; and c - he was gross!). Although, sweetly, he kicked the bin off the milk crate so that I could sit on it.

- Gave birth. Ewww, enough of that story. Now come on - I wanna hear some of yours!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

And now for my next trick...

That's right, more knitting porn! The little beauty, once again from the Phildar Tendances Automne 05/06 mag, is the next on the 'to knit' list. Actually, I'm going to knit two of them - one for me, and one for my sister-in-law. In natural black non-dyed organic alpaca/superfine merino yarn, no less. Yuuuuuuum! We're going to be the funkiest eco-chicks around! (Provided, of course, that I don't completely stuff up the translation, which is highly probable)

Rightio and fer shizzy. I'm off to have a boogie to this marvellous song (so summery!), and to gird my loins for my very first three needle bind off. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hold on to your pink bits: actual knitting content!

Yes, it's true - I've been a-knitting! I seriously think the heat must have addled my brain. For there can be no other reason why, in 41 C heat, I would have picked up the needles to cast on for this little beauty. It's from the Phildar Tendances Automne 05/06 magazine. Only available en francais, more's the pity.

Of course, I’m making some mods to it (sounds like I’m talking about a car!). I’m ditching the wrappy belty thing, which really doesn’t work for me on the grounds that (a) I’m not a big look of the ‘jumper tied around the waist even though you're kinda wearing the entire jumper’ look and (b) it would really do nothing for my sad, scarred, bulging mummy-tummy. Stomach. Must. Stay. Hidden. From. View. At. All. Times. Otherwise little children might get scared. Instead, I’ve done about 14cms of knit 2 purl 2 rib at the bottom. Because, you know, when it’s the middle of summer, what else would a body want to do except mindlessly rib-rib-rib-away?

Yes, I am mad. However, this top shall look fabulous in all it’s ribby glory. Huzzah! And I've already completed the back, and am three quarters of the way though the top. Double huzzah!

PS I'd show a progress shot, but I lost the photos - dang! So you'll just have to imagine the black yarny goodness for yourselves.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sweet about my peep

Check out my peep! I got him a while ago from the amazingly talented Sarah at The Small Object (whaddya waiting for - quick, go check her out!), and I have a major case of peep infatuation going on. What's not to love - he's adorable, with that cheeky smile beaming down at me from the buffet. Best of all is how he looks of an evening, when we have the candles behind him going. Speaking of, does anybody have any idea at all how I'm going to get all the melted wax out of the bottom of the candle holders? Ach, it's a mystery to me.

I'm liking this stage of my life. The Galumph and I are finally able, with some careful planning and serious budgeting, to squirrel away some money, and start getting some nice things for our home. After much research and traisping around of shops, we got some new furniture, and my goodness was it a RELIEF to get rid of all the junk we'd had since we were starving uni students (The kitchen chairs with holes in the seats - gone! The blue desk with paint flaking off and broken shelves - gone! The breakfast table that wobbled and had cracked tiles, and was only used as a dumping ground for sewing stuff - gone!). Some of that furniture definitely had some bad energy emanating from it, and I'm glad it's gone. We just dumped it outside of our house, and it disappeared in a matter of minutes. There must be some major second (or maybe, considering how old and beat up our stuff was, 10th-) hand furniture vultures hovering around our street. Anyhow, the old stuff is gone to begin a new chapter, and we've finally got some lovely stuff to keep us company over the years, until we are all old, falling apart, and in dire need of a coat of varnish. And my peep looks awesome sitting on top of our brand spanking new buffet. Rawk!