Tuesday, August 29, 2006

because i can

the only problem with socks that i can see is that you need to make two of them. no sooner do you stop glowing from the joy of completing something that you can immediately wear without having to agonise over seams, comes the realisation that ordinarily two, as in two that match, like a pair, are required. despite this, i dont think that there is actually a rule that says you have to complete a pair of socks before moving on to the next pair, so i have. moved on to the next pair. because i can.

hmmm. so now i have sock startitis. i suspect i am not the first. i really dont like the feel of having only one thing happening, so i bought another set of DPNs and have started these ones for trent...my rationale, other than 'because i can' is that spring doth too fast approach and i want him to experience the joy of wearing wool socks before its too warm.

these are heirloom jigsaw, no cute name for the colourway unless 'someone' wants to think of one? i started them last thursday to show the girls on friday down in wollongong, esp miss dr fern whom we bought that lovely sirdar town and country sock wool for her graduation, but i was very unhappy with my cast on over the three needles, so in the process of showing fern i decided that casting all stitches on to one needle and then dividing them worked better and gave much better corners. this is nice stretchy yarn too so its holding together well. even the single rib wasnt too painful.(speaking of the lovely dr fern, she has decided that this blog thing is cool and has started her own before she heads off overseas next year...cool, a sock and a blog convert!).

i didnt get to do any of it on the weekend, sock knitting and herding not quite compatible, but i should get a lot done this coming weekend when we head down to kioloa for the annual 'surf and turf' flyball comp.

speaking of herding, possum and i were suddenly graduated out to the paddock. i have never worked with her outside the ring, and now it was our job to bring the sheep up from their holding pen to the ring where everyone was working. robert took the reins on sat and i tried very hard to watch everything he was doing but those guys they just work off instinct and years of practice, so when it was my turn on sunday, possum took off after the sheep across the paddock a few times! i finally got her to slow down and we worked them up the fence together and into a stop, so it ended on a good note tho i still have a lot to learn. it was fun though! forgot to take the camera so have to wait till i see the rest of the gang on the weekend to get pix from them.

back to the bluestripes.

k :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

raining purple part one

here is the first 'purple rain' sock, made using waratah handpainted 5ply.

something weird happened in the cast-on and i can not bring myself to do 4 cms of single rib over three needles, so its a little loose on the leg, might make the second one a bit smaller. also i am still nervous that i dont have enough wool for the second one. it's supposed to be 100g and the pattern should easily fit that, but my ball kept dwindling before my eyes. but "spider says" it will be ok, so it will be ok.

also i was a naughty girl and did a three needle cast off instead of grafting but i dont think you can tell really. i have laid the sock twisted here so you can see the cast off. looks good on, like a big hairy bruise!

swam 1500m today in 40 minutes. at least i was faster than the 80 year old man in the lane next to me. not headed for the olympics anytime soon!

off to wollongong on friday (no supervision. yay) and then herding this weekend so until next week, ta ta.

k :)

Monday, August 21, 2006

berry happy

happy girl today, lovely weekend celebrating jo's (or 'the duck' as trent has taken to calling her as her last name is drake. ha ha) birthday in sydney on sat evening after some flyball training with her and the st george mob who jem used to race with before we moved down here (we have not been overly happy with the flyball scene in the ACT and miss our old team so it was nice to get back amongst it with friends). they a great bunch of people and dinner was lovely. jo has ten dogs in her little inner city house, she keeps rescuing them off death row! 6 of them are small, 4 chihauhaus and its like a mad house when you chuck our two in there as well. crazy fun.

came home sun morning and left trent to nap on the lounge while i finally made it into stitch and bitch after missing weeks! which was lovely. the very clever miss spider made me something:

yes its made to order self striping sock wool called Berry Stripey. looking at it makes me berry happy. i am working on these socks in a similar colour:

they are lovely but they are not stripey and i am all about the striped socks. esp the self-striping kind!

i also ordered some earrings and a necklace from margie for a work function of trents i have to go to, and am very excited to see what she comes up with.

great conversation and awesome hot chocolate (thanks sherpa) made for a lovely afternoon. tho i am a bit worried about spidey. take care miss p.

this morning i swam 1300 metres on my fourth swim in a week - up from the 800 i started back with. i did 1300 today in the same time it took me to do 1000 last wed so thats good progress and i feel like i want to go every day now!

meanwhile i got offered 20 hours of research work to be done immediately which means i have a legitimate excuse (ie the making of money) not to look at my chapter for a week. what a shame.

so i am berry happy all round today. nice for a change.

k :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


well its all happening here...the jumper is finished and word from the fashionistas is that the sleeves look ok in person. i have gone back to my purple rain socks but i feel weird only have one thing going at a time....thanks spidey! words have been re-written on the chapter that narrowly missed the bonfire and they are low in quantity but high in quality. also i have started swimming again...got myself up to 2kms a day at the end of summer but need to work back up to it. makes me feel good, tho i dont know if the chlorine is good for my skin but hey, what am i supposed to do, become a hermit? i think not. meanwhile we finally splashed out and bought a new computer - just the tower part cos the monitors fine but the machine we have is too slow for the nerd. and then theres that blue screen of death thing. this new one is silver and black and really really fast but might take a few days to get everything transferred across so if i disappear thats where i am. have saved chapters etc onto cds so all should be fine. i thought of not doing that and then going to my supervisors and doing that 'the computer ate my homework' thing but thought better of it.

going now. back soon.
k :)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

todays creations

have returned from a lovely few days in the 'gong...caught up with some people, got some advice. think everything thesis wise will be ok now, so long as i can keep writing! was nice to hang with deb as usual. long drive home tho, didnt stop the whole way and now im tired but glad to be home. who would have thought you could miss your dogs so much in just two days? oh and trent of course.

speaking of which, here he is in his new jumper.

handsome devil isnt he :) the pic doesnt do justice to the jumper, youd think id notice the slight shadow and make him take his hands out of his pockets but you get the idea. heres a closer shot of the actual garment!

i am really happy with the seams, my neck-artistry still needs some work and i think the pattern is much too generous in the upper arms. its not just the fact that the once gym-junkie is now a desk-bound computer nerd - the picture in the book shows too big arms as well. i might think about getting some help to take them in. or else make him go back to the gym.

i also made a cake this arvo - i took the ingredients down to debs but didnt get a chance to make it. its an almond, cherry and yoghurt cake.

it has no butter and hardly any sugar hence it gets served with cherry syrup over the top. no trent you cant have cream with that!

anyway thats enough for this weekend, i think i need to sleep for about three days straight now.

hope youre all having good ones.

k :)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


so i get all excited about my lovely nearly finished jumper with the perfect invisible seams of which i only had to redo one section on the sleeve because the ends didnt match, and i manage to pick up and knit the perfect amount of stitches around the neck and i set off my circular needles to do one round knit, one round rib: k3 p1 k1 p1 repeat (which is the opposite to the rib pattern in the body and the sleeves because now its in the round and knits become purls and purls become knits - what the?). i think its going pretty well:

until i take a closer look:

yes thats right there is rib along the back of the neck and plain old stocking stitch along the front of the neck. how did i achieve this feat of knitting wizardry, i hear you ask? easy. i marked the wrong place for the start of the round and started the plain knit too early, doing too little of the rib. yes yes very clever i know. so now i have to rip it back. ive never ripped back in the round before and i really dont want to have re-pick up all those stitches so it will require some attention and fine motor skills, of which i appear to be sadly lacking at the moment. note to pharmaceutical companies: where it says 'dont operate heavy machinery' it should also say 'dont try to knit anything too complicated or you'll get really upset'. hmmm.

but at least i have cute puppies. yesterday:

i had put their beds outside to air out, thats possums blue one turned upside down that jem suddenly decided he found quite comfortable. well it was 11am and there was still frost on the ground. love those minus six starts to the day.

this morning:

jem has decided that having possum close to him (which he usually hates) is the lesser of two evils, the other being forced to relinquish his favourite spot by the window from which he can observe my every move.

i have set myself a thesis related task this morning and will not touch the jumper until its done. also i heard from someone that one of my supers is giving his other students a hard time as well so that helps to know its not personal!

have a good one
k :)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

slowly slowly...

ever so slowly things are improving...the rash is fading and the medication is not having such a strong impact as at first. did i mention i really f***ing hate being out-of-sorts? i have been feeling very anti-social and as though under my doona is the only place i want to be but thats starting to shift as well and am starting to look forward to a few days at debs in the gong this weekend.

slowly the words are returning - yesterday i read an article and today i have added some stuff to the abandoned chapter....had visions of burning it all and dancing around the bonfire in some kind of frenzied pagan ritual but have busied myself with housework instead. which i also really hate but it seems like more fun than the thesis right now! but i figure it doesnt really matter how i feel about it, i just need to write it anyway and i do feel better for having done some this morning. i have organised a meeting with the head of postgrad studies for this thurs to 'get some advice'.

trent started his new job and seems to have slotted right in, i always knew he would be good in a leadership role so im very happy for him.

and most importantly the jumper is so close its excrutiating. now that i figured them out i think invisible seams are the best thing ever invented and it really looks awesome, although they are hard to do on the increases on the pattern sleeve. socks are put aside for now, eyes are a bit too sore for such minute detail but as soon as the jumper is done i promise to return to my sock fetish with renewed vigour...and also to get me to an snb sometime soon.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

seams and things

the excessive amount of blogging this past week or so has nothing whatsoever to do with any form of procrastination. stop that thought right now.

but while im here i might as well tell you whats been going on. firstly i am not going to SnB tonight AGAIN because i went to the doctor this morning for this rash ive had which i thought was just from excessively dry skin or some kind of allergic reaction and she said its an actual skin infection of sorts exacerbated by stress and i have to have this cream and these pills that make me woozy and make your eyes really light sensitive and you cant go out in the sun (not that thats an issue in canberra at the moment).

so no 'operating heavy machinery' for me! that includes a ford falcon and a swift and ball winder. *sob*

BUT, i had another attempt at my invisible/mattress/running/edge-to-edge (will everyone please just agree to call it the same thing) seam and got it right this time:

look no seams! the fact that this kind of seam seems to be contra-indicated with my medication (ie, makes me dizzy) is of no relevance.

also, i am posting this close up of the sock-in-progress to show ms spider some of the colours i would like to incorporate into my custom made berry-crush self striping sock wool (eg, the burgundy, the lavender and some kind of pink).

cos i dont have enough sock wool to go on with or anything. (cough) no. not nearly enough (cough cough).

so sorry i will miss the frivolities tonight, i was hoping to see margie in her floppy hat! go dr margie.

back to the seams.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

works in progress

while i wait (impatiently, tapping fingers) for my motivation to write to return, i am distracting myself with all things fibrous. hence, trents jumper parts:

i dont think i will block it properly, it says in the pattern to just press with a damp cloth and then sew it using edge-to-edge (mattress?) stitch before knitting on the neck band. i hate sewing, im too impatient, but i am going to try and do it properly to do justice to the wool and pattern which are lovely, and also because ive had to frog back too many parts of this to be slack with it now!

i have also started my next pair of socks with some of the hand dyed i bought at the markets, i was originally going to knit these for someone else but i like the colour too much and as ms spider says, i now need handknitted socks for every day of the week. i was too impatient to wait for thurs night and the swift and ball winder so i wound it by hand, only got one tangle at the end. i call this 'purple rain':

sorry its blurry, the flash drains all the colour out of it. its lovely and soft. my casting on in a round needs some work tho!

pressing of jumper parts awaits...


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

happier monday

no not a revival of a certain english club band.

yesterday things took a turn for the better because trent got offered a permanent full time job he wanted, in the private sector rather than govt, good package, more leadership less 'code monkey' (yes hes a geek). we havent seen an official letter of offer yet so we're still a bit nervous (why is that?) but im sure its all fine and he will start there on monday. hes been looking for a few weeks and on top of everything else its made life a bit stressful!

so now it looks like we'll be in canberra for another couple of years at least, unless i get some amazing post doc in england or america.

which, considering this requires the finishing of a thesis, is perhaps less than certain.

on that note, have done lots of processing, lots of talking with friends, incl ms d who was here for the weekend with her dog tali, (which was great fun for my possum) and we decided that the issue is that its like im trying to make a chocolate cake with some chilli in it (or some other weird ingredients) and my supervisors arent really sure why you would do this considering chocolate and chilli dont go together and no one has ever tried to do that before and the tasters will probably spit it out in disgust and what sort of chocolate cake has chilli in it anyway? i am extending this analogy by saying that my supervisors are a bit like some types of grandmothers who enter the same chocolate cake (sans chilli) in the easter show each year and get the same kinds of responses and arent aware that over in the other pavillion the chilli stand is all the rage, esp where they're putting chocolate with it.

so im determined to not be swerved from my course and will deal with the consequences as they come.

meanwhile the jumper sleeve has only about 20 more decreasing rows and looks exactly like its counterpart. i will put up photos of all the pieces when done before the sewing commences. i might need some help with 'edge to edge' stitch on thurs night.

hope all is well out there in knitting blog world


ps later tuesday: confirmation of employment received. yay.