Friday, May 29, 2009

Coughing and sneezing is now the official soundtrack to my life.

Boy oh boy, did I have some grand plans for this week. I was going to:

- make myself a brand new dress, using the fabric I bought from Tessuti. I was hoping to finish the dress by the end of the week, so I could wear it to the opening party, swanning around looking fabulous and chic etc etc

- cut out and sew three pairs of pj pants, as we are all in dire need of new sleepwear, and I finally found some lovely flannel at GJ's

- Knit another scarf, this time for my friend K, who is having her birthday today (happy birthday!) in some gorgeously soft Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran

- Keep the house spotless, cook gourmet meals, figure out the winning Tattslotto numbers and fathom the mystery mathematics behind black holes

All in all, it was going to be one heck of a week. Achievements galore! Sewing masterpieces! Creation of superbly textural knits! Scientific glory!

Then Grumbles got sick. So no kindergarten for her. I found myself housebound with a grumpy pre-schooler. There went the dress plans.

Then I got sick. "Pshwah", I thought to myself, "'tis nothing but a sore throat. Nothing I can't handle!" But still, there went the pyjama plans.

Then I got really sick. Besides the continual "Ah-ah-ah-CHOOOOO!" and "hack-hackity-hack" noises, the only sound was that of my plans being torn up into pieces, set fire to, then the ashes blasted off into space.

Thank goodness I did manage to get some knitting done. Sorta. Still a full ball to go. However, in a week like this that's classed as real progress!

Edited to add: GJ's is 443 Lygon St, East Brunswick. You can read all about their fabric range here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

One completed Brick

63 pattern repeats, 378 rows and 13,608 stitches later, and Brick is completed. Whew! I think the recipient will like it very much - he's been hinting for a hand knit scarf for years, so this should suit very well. And I'm well pleased because my yarn stash is now officially 5 balls lighter!
I'll try and get some pics of the birthday boy wearing his scarf in the next couple of weeks. I dare say he'll look rather fetching!

Project specs

Garment Type: Scarf
Yarn: Jo Sharp DK Pure Wool in Brick, using 5 balls
Needles: 4.5mm
Pattern: One of my own devising, using a stitch pattern found in 400 Knitting Stitches, published by Murdoch Books

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


To be brutally honest with you all, I had never given much thought to the name 'dandelion'. If anything, I just presumed that the yellow flower head (prior to turning into the seed parachute you see in the pictures above) reminded people of a lion's mane. A particularly dandy lion's mane, since it was so cheerful and yellow. However, it turns out that dandelion is actually a corruption of the French name, dent de lion, or "teeth of the lion". The toothsome name refers to the teeth-like patterning of the leaves.
But what does the common man on the street, or rather in the garden, call this tasty plant? A wee (ahem) bit of research on Wikipedia has yielded some rather more diuretic results regarding the name's origin. In modern French, for example, it is called pissenlit, which means to 'urinate in bed' (lit is French for bed, and I'm sure you can all figure the rest of the word out!). In England it is commonly called pissabeds, whilst the Italians prefer to called it piscialletto (letto being, once again, bed).

Poor old flower! What names to be saddled with! Well, urine associations aside, there's nothing like the simple joy of watching Grumbles happily blow on the seeds, dispersing the autumn bounty in the hope that next year there are ten-fold more dandelions to watch out for.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I've been tagged for an Awe-Summm blog award by the three spiffy ladies of Ink & Spindle. Woo hoo! Thanks, girls! Getting this made my already goofy grin get that little bit bigger.

So the drill is thus: I have to list 7 things that make me awesome (what, a mere 7?!!) and then tag 7 other blogs that I think are equally awesome. Rightio:

1 - I sing out loud when doing the dishes when it's just Grumbles and myself at home, and then sometimes make up ultra cool film clips in my head. I may at some stage also indulge in some dancing. If that's not freaking ace then I don't know what is.

2 - I've read The Iliad. Twice. Hmmm, is that awesome or just plain bloody nerdy? I'll leave it up to you to decide.

3 - I taught myself to knit using the Internet. I am one with the technology, dudes!

4 - When I was growing up my siblings and I used to play "Cow Pat Frisbee". Let me tell you from experience that the key is to picking up a truly dry cow pat to toss, rather than the ones that look dry but only have a crusty top. I'm reminded of this because at the Dan O'Connell on St Patrick's Day this year I got some sauce on my fingers. As I chatted to my best bud, I bent down, grabbed a hunk of grass and wiped my fingers clean on it, burbling away the entire time, just as I used to do when I got cow dirt on myself. My friend shook her head and said "You know, Jorthy, I often forget that you grew up in the country - but this isn't one of those times!"

Cow dirt on fingers + knowledge of how to clean it off when miles from a tap = country style awesome!

5 - I am up to my 12th year of being TV-free. That makes me incredibly awesome, but sadly lacking in pop culture references.

6 - I've been waving to Vince Colosimo for a couple of years now, thinking I knew his familiar face from Story Time at the local library, and not because his mug is famous. We've even got to the pat-on-arm-hey-mate-how-ya-going-stage. Actually, that's not awesome, it's just SAD.

But do you know what's even sadder? He often does it first, and has been known to do that weird make-your-fingers-like-a-gun-and-then-click-your-tongue-thing at me before I've even registered his presence.

7 - I've made my own jeans! Which I'd completely forgotten about until one of my fellow kinder mums realised she read my blog, and got all excited about meeting me and then blurted the jeans fact to the entire playground. Hee hee, I felt kinda like a rock star. One with ultra cool jeans!

Now for the 7 blogs that I think are awesome (drum roll, please):

Karen Cheng



Red Felt Flower

Nicole Owens

Hygge House


All very inspiring ladies. Go check 'em out!

Monday, May 18, 2009


On the weekend I had the great pleasure of popping into Tessuti Fabrics. Fellow Melburnians, I have only one thing to say to you: Drop everything (except, of course, newborn babies) and get your running shoes on and head on over there! The fabric/ribbon/button ranges are to die for! So many gorgeous, exquisite fabrics and textiles, all in one beautiful light filled space. Luckily our credit card has a limit, because I could have bought up the whole gosh darn store!

Not only did I get to swoon over the fabric range, but I also had the great fortune to meet Collete herself, who founded the stores, on her last day in Melbourne before she headed back to Sydney. She's so lovely, as is Lisa, who's helming the Melbourne store. I'm so pleased that we have a Tessuti now in Melbourne - we really needed something like this, and the city location is fabulous.

And to add the cherry onto an already practically indescribable cake, the super sweet and knowledgeable Nicola works there, too. It's fabric heaven! I took a little piece of it home myself: a lovely vintage-style spotted linen. I'd take a photo, but it's too dark inside my gloomy abode at this time of day, so you get a picture of Grumbles and her feet instead (just in case you were wondering!). I'm thinking I'll make it up in a vintage pattern, and even just looking at the fabric now is making my hand itch to get out the scissors and start cutting away.

Welcome to Melbourne, Tessuti - I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of each other!

Tessuti Melbourne
Ground Floor, 141 Flinders Lane
Ph: 03 9654 4566

Friday, May 15, 2009

She's a brick and she's knitting slowly...

I was riffling through my cupboard the other day when I came across my yarn stash. Let me tell you frankly: I was absolutely aghast at how massive it is. I swear it wasn't that big last time I looked. Perhaps the stash was mating with dust bunnies and spawning random balls of wool, because some of those balls I didn't even recognise, let alone recollect purchasing.

Truly, the situation is dire. So I've decided that for every project knitted with lovely new wool, another project must come directly from the stash. Otherwise I won't be able to close the cupboard door! Besides, in this time of Global Financial Crisis it's best to use what one has, ja? Like the scarf above, which is being made with Jo Sharp DK Pure Wool in Brick. Heaven's knows what project I originally intended that for, but it's been lurking around for years, and must be knitted up.

And yes, I know it looks like a dishcloth at the moment, but trust me - a scarf it shall become. In Brick, for somebody who is a brick. Now, that's a term one doesn't hear enough of. I would love for somebody to come along and punch me affectionately on the arm and say "You know, Jorthy, you're a real brick!". "Yes!", I would beam in return. "I am a generous and loyal person. You're quite the brick yourself for telling me so. Fancy a scarf? I've some lovely yarn stashed away!"

Edited: I've just looked up brick using and am utterly delighted to discover that the following phrase is slang for being drunk: To have a brick in one's hat. Brilliant! So totally using that at the next party I attend! I can see myself now, inconspicuously leaning in to the hostess and whispering in her ear that she'd best mind old Tom, for he's got a brick in his hat, and then moving away with a knowing glance in Tom's direction. Ahh, happy days!