Monday, May 29, 2006

disaster strikes

well ladies it had to happen sometime. i have had my first major knitting disaster. here am i smugly getting through trents new jumper from the jo sharp pattern book on nice jo sharp wool, and i get to the bit where you stop doing the rib pattern and just do stocking stitch and things start to not look right. the rib isnt flowing into the stst like it should. so i look at the picture and lo and behold the rib pattern has more stst in it than mine does. that is:

yes, blind freddy could spot the difference (just not me apparently). so then i look at the pattern intrustructions again.

this is what it says. *p3 k1 p1 k1 repeat from * to last three stitches p3.

and what have i been doing you ask? what a good question. i have been doing this: p3 *k1 p1 repeat from * to last three stitches p3. yes thats right, single rib with two lots of p3s on either end.

let me be clear that the asterisk is actually BEFORE the first p3, not AFTER!!!! obviously my brain just decided that it looked better after.

so i ring the aforementioned trent at work and tell him of this disaster, and he says - brace yourself - "no i didnt think it looked right". oh! he didnt think it looked right! did he tell me that before now???? nooooooooo!! what makes him think it didnt look right, i ask. it didnt look like the picture, he says. so calm, so nonchalant. the computer programmer knows it doesnt look like the picture. me, the 'artistic' (and i use that term loosely) one, cant spot the difference. nice work kylie.

let the unravelling begin.

k :( (soooo not happy jan)

ps thank god snb is this thursday night and i can 'work through' my issues in a group...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

the eternal quest

hi guys, whoever happens to be reading today. i have a question. i am on the eternal quest for the perfect knitting bag. there are heaps of groovy ones in the states but they wont sell to us down here...and apart from that, i would actually like to make my own, like a knitted one. there is a picture of one in the latest creative knitting (new issue out today) (see page 92) that says they had the pattern in issue 14 which i missed. does anyone have this pattern or something like it? what do the rest of you use? at the moment i am carrying around a basket like an old lady...sorry but you know what i mean... im not 40 yet and baskets remind me of my mother...anyway any ideas appreciated!


ps - canberra snb-ers...i knitted by myself in front of the fire at starbucks for a while today but only my husband came to join me (isnt he sweet? and he doesnt even knit). but thats ok, it was nice to get out of the house and away from the demon that is my thesis....i swear if i could take a knife to it i would. but i will be at the next thurs night one so hopefully see some of you there.

Monday, May 22, 2006

adventures with possum

monday morning dawns nice and chilly in the nations capital. i think my hands are frozen. first things first, i have finally finished the chequer pattern scarf.

it took more than two balls to make it and its not very long, i would have kept going but i ran out.

here is the pattern in close up.

i guess the alternating lots of knit and purl take up quite a lot of wool. anyway its done, i cant stand to leave things undone, which is why i am not very good at running multiple projects at once, unlike some people we could name!! (i feel very inadequate in comparison to some snb-ers). not that i have met any of them yet, i am still stalking people via their blogs until i can actually get to a meeting.

i missed the celebration of wool at kingston on the weekend because i was timekeeping at the million paws walk flyball comp. it was trents last provisional judging assignment and he should be now a fully fledged flyball judge. here he is in the ring, hes inthe white shirt,

the crazy pink people are from the k9 krusaders from queanbeyan, the other team is the east side flyers from melbourne. it was fun, lots of people turned up for the walk and had fun watching the flyball.

before then i had been away for a few days, went to wollongong on thurs and met with richard for lunch then went back to debs. i took possum with me and she had a great time playing with debs boy tali

this is the awesome view from debs backyard!

friday morning we (me and deb plus the two dogs) walked to the island at the end of the beach and back, it was a beautiful sunny wollongong day. stayed for a seminar at uni friday afternoon, drinks with damo friday night.

then headed off very early (6am) to camden for more herding practice with miss possum. we had a great time and everything seemed to go right, i got a round of applause after my first go in the ring, i seem to be getting the hang of moving possum around rather than her running wild.

in the afternoon robert came in the ring with me and we worked on a new technique for getting her to mind the sheep, she had a lot of resistance at first but eventually succumbed and we could get her to sit and just wait, without barking at the sheep or moving them around. i will need to have this perfect with her before i am able to do any real work or trialling etc, esp out in the paddock because if she makes up her mind to chase sheep around a paddock then all is lost! but she seems to be starting to pay attention to me now and recognising that this is something we do together.

anyway it was great fun, and hung around with jo and annette and nathan from st george flyball which was great and cant wait to do it again in two weeks time out at binalong. i really hope that one day we have our own sheep farm and i will produce super fine merino and spin and knit it myself! coooool. i would like to learn to spin but i think i am so impatient!

anyway time to do some work.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

a very naughty girl

i couldnt help myself i cast on and then did the first two rows of trents new jumper. the wool was just sitting there, crying at me. what was i to do? its beautiful and soft like it has silk in it and the pattern is already showing. took me ages to make sure i had actually cast on the correct amount of stitches! the first picture is blurry but shows the colour better (its called bullrush but is a warm light brown) and the second one shows my perhaps a little too loose cast on!

meanwhile the chequerboard scarf continues slowly. it sits at around trents chest so needs to come down to his abdomen i think, but not as long as his waist. still another 20 or so cms i think.

i am taking both these projects with me down to wollongong this weekend, i am going tomorrow morning and taking ms possum with me! she is going to stay at aunty deborahs with me and play with her boyfriend tali while i go to uni and have meetings etc. then thurs night i think i will cook dinner for deb for a change and then have a nice long walk on the beach friday morning before heading back into uni for a seminar. we are meeting up with friends etc for a friday night at the bar which will be great. trent will be here by himself and says he will go to oconnor to watch the tahs game. i can watch it at the uni bar...go the tahs!

then sat i am going up to camden to do one day of herding practice with possum before driving back sat night and then going to help out with the flyball comp thats part of the million paws walk on sunday. this means i will miss the celebration of wool at the markets, and sunday snb but i promised trent to help ages ago and hes judging and everything, so what can i do?!!

so nothing more from me till monday. have a great weekend.


Monday, May 15, 2006

the next big thing

i picked up the wool for trents next jumper this morning from the shearing shed in manuka. its jo sharp dk wool in bullrush and i am making the jumper in the picture. doesnt sound too hard...famous last words!

joody was talking on her blog about the problems with wool shops in canberra. its true i have been a bit disappointed. youd think you move somewhere with a winter climate that wool shops would be the happening thing. so far i have been to cassidys at jamison which is this strange old ladies clothes shop with a wool section down the back, not a large range but a good basic one nicely organised, good needle selection, good patterns. the other place i have been is the shearing shed at manuka which has a hug range, much too big for the small shop and so its completely overcrowded and really disorganised, and i get completely overwhelmed. but the service has been good, i ordered this wool last tues i think and it arrived on friday so thats pretty good.

but everything here is better than wollongong where we only had spotlight, so i ordered most of my wool over the internet, usually from nundle. there was a great place in gerringong, the old schoolhouse wool workshop, i got some really nice brittany wood needles there and some lovely bendigo wool mill yarn. they were very big on the felting there (not really my thing) but it closed down a while ago. shame.

anyway i cant start this jumper until i finish the scarf i am making him (its a chequerboard pattern, so its in lots of k5 and p5 which im sure is very simple but seems to be taking me a while and it seems my maths skills dont really extend to counting to 5 properly. it is hard to concentrate when youre trying to knit in front of the tv!!). i still have the rug on the go but thats like a weekend job - i usually dont try and do two things at once but now that i have started the rug i really want to finish it, tho i am not entirely happy with the colours.

had a nice weekend at home, no dog things for a change. we went and watched the tahs loose to the hurricanes at all bar nun in oconnor on sat night, was a good atmosphere there tho next year we are definately going to get foxtel just to watch the rugby. was a great game even tho we lost, some bad handling errors. need to beat them in the semi final rematch next week but thats in new zealand. dont like our chances. not to mention the wendell sailor thing. but hope springs eternal. go the tahs!


Friday, May 12, 2006

remembering amsterdam

well i have put all my photos from my trip to amsterdam on a flickr site, you can view them here.

i went over there in march of this year to give a paper at the european social science and history conference. my paper was based on my phd and was about the theory that i am using (lacanian psychoanalysis with gramsci's theory of hegemony) to explain the occurrence of certain types of social disorder in australian history. the thesis focuses on a group from the late nineteenth century called 'larrikins' but i am looking to use the theory to explain social disorder more generally. anyway it was great trip, paper very well received and i heard some really great stuff and met some good people. i got to see most of amsterdam, mostly just by walking, its an amazing city. firstly the fact that it doesnt look like a city in that theres no high rises, its just all these beautiful old canal houses. and the way the shops are all down these cute little cobblestone streets. but then its really busy, with bikes and trams and people moving everywhere all the time. it feels really modern but also intensely historical at the same time. i felt really at home in europe, just the oldness of the place. it was early spring but was still cold and grey, and it really had a soul that we miss in shiny happy sundrenched places like sydney. everyone was sooo cool, they didnt even try, they were just cool. i hung out at cafe de jaren a lot, near the university, the coffee was good and the service was great.

my other favourite place was museumplein, my hotel was right behind the concert hall and i spent a few days inside the best art museums ive ever seen. the van gogh museum had a rembrandt/caravaggio exhibit that took my breath away.

it was hard tho being such a long way away and by myself, the conference was so huge, 1300 people and only a few other aussies there and they werent staying at the same hotel so it was a bit overwhelming. and such a long way from home, 28 hours travelling via vienna and kuala lumpur on austrian airlines (very nice, recommended). but it was great fun and i have the travelling bug now! there is another conference in america at the end of the year that i am giving two papers at but trent is coming this time so it will be much more fun. its always better to have someone to share this stuff with!

anyway today i have to finish fixing up the intro chapter to the book richard and i are editting (he is the official editor for technical reasons), its called Hegemony: Studies in Consensus and Coercion and will be published by Routledge NY, next year if we get busy. I am co-writing the intro plus have another chapter of my own in there.

Must stop procastinating!!


Thursday, May 11, 2006

things i have made

this whole public diary business is kind of weird, i am not really sure why im doing it ...i guess its very inspiring to see all the amazing things other people have knitted and then how they fit it in with their crazy lives. and i have always kept a diary of some sort, just not very regular with it, and this seems like a good way to keep track of whats happening and not get lost in my head as i tend to do.

so in lieu of having anything more intelligent to say right now, i am putting up some pictures of other things i have made and kept - have made lots of scarves etc but tend to give them away.

these are two scarves that i have kept, the pink one is made from nundle mohair in dusky rose, my favourite colour of theirs. i made a hat and tried also to make a jumper in this but no sooner did i put the hat on then i realised i was slightly allergic to mohair. this is supersoft mohair, its gorgeous, but it makes me itch and go a bit red. so i dont wear this one very often but it looks nice hanging up. the other one is a rough one i just made in some cleckheaton country print to take to herding. it has already hit the dust a few times and is not the softest wool ever, but does the job. its knitted in a stocking stitch, reverse stocking stitch pattern so that it gets ridges in it but it doesnt show up real well in the mottled wool. nice earthy colours tho.

this is my pride and joy really, apart from trents jumper. its another nundle kit - adult pagan in red with camel trim. this wool is awesome. its twenty ply knitted on 10mm needles so its superchunky, but is soft as silk and is the warmest thing ive ever worn. its too warm really. its for night times around the camp fire! its got a sewn on hood which was hard for a beginner, and i dont think i did it right cos it looks a bit weird when i wear it, but its sooo cute! its suposed to have pompoms but i thought that was bit much! the red doesnt show up right here, it is super fire engine red. amazing.

this is my recent big project, i finished it just in time to take to amsterdam and was a god send over there where it was still cold enough to snow. in march. again its just plain old cleckheaton because its cheap but its their merino so its pretty soft and is nice and baggy, one of those real winter wonders. its knitted on 5mm so took a while and im happy with it because i had to pick up and knit the collar which is the first time ive done that myself (i got help on trents jumper) and it fits great... why is it so hard to find plus size patterns? i got this pattern from tapestry craft in sydney (what a great shop) and the pagan jumper i just upsized myself (and hence made it too big) but i would like to knit some nice bigger things without needing a maths degree, maths not being my strong point. (is that not the understatement of the century).

anyway, thats all for now while i go set up this flickr site.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

of dogs, sheep and wool

had a great weekend pretending to be farmer joe rounding up sheep with the dogs. trent works with jem who is defiant and obstinant (typical cattle dog) and i work with possum who is mental and hyper. she knows just what to do with sheep and the task is for me to learn to control her.

this is me and poss with robert the instructor. hes the one in the hat. we're busy freezing our arses off at michelago on the road to cooma!

i think one day we will do yard dog trials together, it has been very beneficial for her confidence and for my relationship with her. trent has made a flickr website of some pix from the weekend, check it out here. if we had kids we'd be like the WORST sort of soccer parents...

meanwhile i am knitting like a mad thing, a chequer board pattern scarf for trent, just out of some cleckheaton, and a stripey throw rug using some inca and mohair.

this green jumper is the first big thing i knitted after scarves etc. its a nundle wool mill pattern with nundle wool in moss. i have ordered some wool to make trent another jumper, this time a jo sharp pattern with jo sharp wool. hmm. yummy. i have had to order it in, should get here next week. its the rib jumper inthe new knit magazine (here) but im doing it in a brown (bullrush) rather than the grey. knitknitknit...too much knitting not enough time....

meanwhile, i am going to create another post soon - or perhaps a flickr site - with my pix from amsterdam so stay tuned.


Friday, May 05, 2006

ah the 'gong...

just spent two days in the gong, wollongong that is, where i am enrolled in my phd and moved from only recently. it is lovely to be beside the seaside, and hang with my postgrad buddies and catch up on the goss. spent time with the lovely deborah, renee and erin, picture above (minus renee). i am the one in black, and one day soon i too will be wearing the floppy hat! renee will beat us to it, but deb and i are trying to graduate together in dec 07...we'll see...

of course, there was serious business, a meeting with ben the supervisor which actually went really well....things have not always been rosy there but we're on the home stretch now and i feel like i am in control of the project regardless of what he thinks. he had some good advice and we set a deadline for the first third completed by the end of june if i am going to take a lecturers appt in second session while he is long service leave. so i will take a leave of absence from the phd and come back to it early next year. long meeting with richard re the intro to the book we are editting, trying to get my head around complicated gramscian political theory. i think i understand...i think...richard is great to work with, so generous with his time and energy with me for no real payout. we are going to america in october to give a couple of papers at the rethinking marxism conference there, so that will be fun.

so am all inspired about the thesis again, lots of work to do but it feels doable...i wish there was some thing i could just plug into my head and download the words instead of trying to struggle with the inadequacy of the english language, but anyway, it will happen...hop to it....k

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

puppy pix

while im experimenting with how to work this thing, here are some pix of the puppies. these are all taken when possum was about 6 months old and jem about 3. poss had funny fluff on her back legs so we called her possum pants. she has grown up lovely. mad, but lovely. and jem is a great dog. i have more recent photos of them somewhere, will post when i find....

the morning of the day after

so now i have a blog. should i say something about myself...i like riding horses and meeting people? just kidding. im allergic to horses and dont really like meeting new people, which is why i force myself to do it or else i would just be sitting at home my whole life. knitting.

so about me. im 37 and have a long term partner trent who is lovely and supportive and kind and caring and frustrating all at once, just like me i suspect (the frustrating part that is)! we have two dogs, jem and possum. jem is an australian cattle dog and is a champion sports dog - flyball, agility. his dad's a little obsessed on that front. possum is a koolie (an australian sheep dog descended from a german sheepdog with some kelpie mixed in) and she is still young and quite mad. like a kelpie on caffeine. she is very affectionate and independent, and likes to round everything up. i am learning to work sheep with her. shes a natural, im hopeless, even though i lived on a working sheep farm for most of my teenage years!

i am back at uni after trying my hand in the workforce off and on for ten years. im doing a phd now in australian history but its not your usual narrative history. i have a thing about history being misused for political purposes. but you can read the book when it comes out. i have recently been to amsterdam for a conference which was awesome, i will put some pictures up later. i am going to america later this year for another conference, and have two journal articles and a book chapter coming out soon. my favourite thing in the world is reading. the classics (virginia woolf, henry james, dickens) and literary fiction (david foster wallace, jonathon franzen, zadie smith). more about that elsewhere.

and i am a knitting freak. i am self-taught, i picked it up a couple of years ago with some other knitting freaks at uni (thanks deb, jasmin, renee and erin!) and have now knitted a number of scarves, weird hats and three jumpers. the best jumper ive made is the green one with nundle wool for trent. i will put pictures of those up somewhere too. at the moment i am working on a throw rug and some things from a jo sharp book, a scarf for me and for trent, and about to start another jumper for trent.

i live in canberra at the moment but am originally from sydney and then tamworth. trent and i have lived in chippendale in the inner city of sydney and then towradgi, on the beach at wollongong, and then out in the country at jamberoo, before moving here for his work. i love canberra, i came to uni here when i first left school eons ago. its autumn at the moment, foggy and leaves underfoot, beautiful.

anyway, once i figure out how to work this thing there will be more to see here....later....

Monday, May 01, 2006

everyone else is doing it....

im not sure why i have decided to have a blog but it seems like the thing to do and now that im all grown up (haha) keeping a diary is a bit here i am. blogging. lets see how it goes. k.