Monday, July 30, 2007

this is my life

no, nothing interesting like some tv guy with a big red book walking through my front door.

more like a message bank recording, that is, where i will be for the next week or two.

one, editing (the manuscript):

two, ribbing (the endless bands for the wrap):

if something more interesting comes up i'll let you know but right now, thats all folks.

k xx

Friday, July 27, 2007

how things seam

i have been so busy this week that i have been a bad blog lurker, just reading, no commenting, so im sorry about that. i am frantically trying to finish editing this manuscript to send to the publisher before the beginning of august - the book is already listed for pre-orders on amazon and we havent delivered the ms yet! and some professors seem to think they dont need to reference all these obscure articles they read back in the 70s that arent available anymore but im meant to find them! aaaagh!! anyway, its getting done.

i also started back teaching this week, i am teaching a third year social policy course down at the shoalhaven campus and i love teaching there, i had a big class, lots of mature age women, they were great. also doing a first year politics up here. i looked up my prospective students on the database. *sigh*.

anyway, in between all that i have managed to start seaming the L&S wrap:

i am using mattress stitch and it really does seam much better than back stitch. if you are patient enough to do it properly. this is a big If for me.

the fabric has blocked beautifully, its really smooth and flowing and i have done the shoulder seams so at least can report that it appears as though it may actually fit.

this is something of a consolation given my record in this department.

also, great news. i found a proper LYS. i have been going to craplight because i have heard mention of this place in fairy meadow somewhere but couldnt find it and i turned down the street towards the supermarket in a different direction today and there it was. i slammed on the brakes and ran inside. there was patonyle! vintage hues! heirloom! even lovely great hanks of naturally, and addi turbos too! i nearly bought some black patonyle and some new turbos but put them back, given that i just bought all that black from bendigo, and owe george a bit of german sock money, and dont have, and am not going to buy, any of the jo sharp silk road i wanted to knit beanies with on addi circs.

it was hard to put things back but at least i know this shop is there now, and very close to home, and all is not lost.

k xx

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

beyond the deathly hallows

well i have finished reading this:

it was quite traumatic. partly story wise, but partly because now there are no more books and i did so enjoy reading about harry. they are not the best pieces of literature ever penned and i have a few gripes with what she did in this one (not giving away any ending, which i think was entirely appropriate), but there was just something a little bit magical about the whole series. by that i mean the whole world she created spoke to the lonely little book worm girl that i used to be, and what i thought childhood friendship should be about.

anyway. its done and im a bit sad about it.

in the meantime, we have been to albury and back doing this crazy thing called flyball, which now both our dogs do. jem has been going for a while and has earned enough racing points to be a flyball master. miss possum we have been training for a while and she has been a challenge because of her really major herding instinct, which has her wanting to go round up all the other dogs who are running (this is not actually part of the game!). so thats why we took her to herding school initially, to learn how to work with a working dog.

so she went into the ring this weekend just to get some practice runs, but she did so good she ended up being part of the team. she didnt cross over once, it was great!

here she is looking like a bit of a mad thing racing!

here is the rest of the team lining up:

we came second in our division, beaten only by a faster team, and then the team won a trophy for being the most consistent team all day. trent is very proud of the trophy, and the dogs think its kind of cool too:

they also won dog food and some other things from the sponsor, advance, including these weird plastic bags. i collected everyone's who didnt want them and am using them as project bags:

i think these might be most useful when travelling and for outdoors, but they are kind of dorky. so the search for the perfect knitting bag continues.

speaking of knitting, i needed to get some plain black sockish-ply wool to make trent another pair of socks with because i won two balls of patonyle at a certain yarn harlot event but its not enough to make long socks and considering my crap LYS doesnt do patonyle, i thought i would do contrasting bands/heels/toes in plain black. so i thought bendigo, and then i thought thats a large ball, what else can i do with black 5 ply, and then i thought, ah, socks and gloves and beanies etc for the flyball team (which is called the St George Phoenix by the way)*, so i bought the club colours:

and am going to start with wrist warmers in a fibonacci sequence, then do socks in the same (thanks caffeine fairie!).

so there you go.

the potter-less
k (will be wielding my wand just a little bit longer!)

* the name phoenix happened because traditionally all the teams at the club were called the Dragon-somethings. our last team was called the Snapdragons but there was An Incident and we split up. Given that three of the team are mad potter fans, we came up with the Phoenix, you know, the thing that rises from the ashes etc etc.

Monday, July 23, 2007

all about the potter

unlike bells, i am a rather avid fan of the potter series. books more than movies. we went to albury on the weekend. there was some dog sport thing happening. a trophy was won. i bought the potter book there and am up to chapter 17. i wont be posting until ive finished it. i have nothing more to say.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

the yarn goddess

firstly, the latest project - the baby pants to match the jacket, coming along nicely:

secondly, a few posts ago i may have mentioned something about looking for new yarns and new projects, and i do believe i fantasised about some lorna's laces and a certain monkey-sock pattern.

in the last 24 hours the yarn goddess has decided to take pity on me and my pathetic stash (trust me, there is not enough to bother with ziplock bags). since the whole move back to the coast thing money has been rather tight, but things have eased up this week and i was able to buy two, not one, but two yarn magazines at the uni shop, thus restoring my faith in our usually crap uni shop:

in these said magazines are not one, but MANY, new and interesting sock patterns. like the boot length ones in interweave, that involve so many shifting of stitches from one needle to another that it would not be humanly possible to get ladders. then theres the gorgeous girly swirly ones in yarn that cleverly look like cables but arent!

i also had a moment of knitting creativity (rare for me) and thought, i know, i'll knit fibonacci sequence socks/wrist warmers/beanies for my husbands dog sports club. black, red and white are their colours and a fibonacci sequence will liven things up a bit. the lovely caffeine fairie and jejune have given me some info on how to go about it and i finally got to put some money on my visa debit card and ordered a ball of each from the fantastic new bendigo online store. how much do we love having bendigo online!

and then, my friends, what should arrive in the mail today but a package from the German Sock Yarn Queen.

look at my loot!

first, a lovely delicate opal, which has Christmas Gift written all over it:

second, the most gorgeous cotton (perfect for some lace booties i think):

(by the way, how is it that i went all the way to italy and didnt come back with half a tonne of lana grossa? i mean really, what was i thinking?

and then, lo and behold, after i just read two articles about this fabulous new stuff, some bamboo:

do you not think this colourway is TOTALLY me?! and what a lovely shine the bamboo gives it.

now i am all stocked up with things to make before christmas, my next post will definately be a whinge about so many projects, so little time!

we are off to albury this weekend for a dog sport thing and im sure it will be nice and cold and i will be grateful i dont live inland anymore.

k xx
ps i love you george!

pps no i have not yet started seaming/knitting on endless 1x1 rib bands for the wrap, but its all blocked (comes up beautiful and smooth) and will start that after the weekend away. parade will follow. along with posts about how much i hate seaming and why i cant read patterns properly.

Monday, July 16, 2007

some knitting content

apologies for the raves of the last few posts which constituted no knitting news at all. to compensate, i have been busy on the weekend.

finally, i am blocking the bits of the BGK Lift and Separate wrap, seen here in Bendigo Rustic Agate, although the light is crap and this is not all of it and i dont have one monster arm and one tiny one, its a matter of perspective:

i also finished berry stripey number one:

this is the best fitting sock ive ever made myself, not tight, not loose, just right! i also tried out the stripey tigers idea of turning socks inside out before cheating with the three needle cast off:

beuatiful! it took a while for me to figure out how to turn a sock inside out when it had three needles still sticking out of it but i managed (obviously you feed it up through the hole the un-sewn toes are making) and then it seemed like a three needle cast off was a perfectly acceptable thing to do because no one can see it.

happy all round.

also on the weekend we went to sydney on sat for flyball training and then dinner with jo and dave followed by the harry potter movie (hence my new meez). it was great, fantastic, awesome, but did some grave disservices to the book, which i think was her best. new one out this friday. is harry a horcrux? i think not. will harry die? of course not, hes the boy who LIVED!

on that note, the 'place-that-cannot-be-named' awaits the presence of my new shoes.

have a good one, hope the exhibit opening was fab and you are all very proud!
k xx

Friday, July 13, 2007

no yarn

my tax refund came in overnight, and you know how i said i was going to buy yarn? i didnt. i bought stuff to go to the gym with instead. i cant tell you what strange behaviour this is for me.

and because there is nothing worse than someone crapping on about going to the gym (when other people do it i feel like throwing up, so i will shut up now), i have some pictures of my purchases instead.

new shoes:

asics gel cross-trainers reduced from 130 to 90.

new super duper sports bra:

no im not going to show you the whole thing, but gees louise, its like buying a bloody high tech electronic device these days! i bought a normal plain white one but i couldnt go past this hi-tech thing as well cos it had an Institute of Sport sticker on it and the straps have little bits of towel in them!

im hoping that these new things may make me at least run like lindsay wagner, if not look like her. hehe.

and i have promised trent some new sunglasses, and the subaru needs a service, so when those things are done, i'll think about yarn again.

god, im so responsible its sickening :)

ps on the yarn front, what do i have to do to get my hands on some of that german stash g-girl????

Thursday, July 12, 2007

couldnt help myself

yes its two posts in one day and yes this one shows that i am knitting in the daytime, despite my statement yesterday that i dont do it.

but today i have to. i am copy-editing someone else's chapter for the book im co-editing, in a very complicated style (chicago. what the?) and its driving me crazy and its freezing inside and the sock was calling my name.

so i took my basket and set up camp outside:

the sun is lovely tho the breeze is cold and its fun to hear the waves crash and watch the kids ride past on their bikes, it being school holidays and all.

as for the sock, i am at 12cms on the foot now and probably need to get it to 17 for my hoofer.

i have also decided that my next pair of socks will be monkeys (everyone else is doing it, why cant i, although i really dont know how bells made these on a bus when there is a chart involved!). i am going to use this skein:

and make them for a friend, finally, after buying this yarn for her at last years kingston markets fibre whore day.

and then, i am going to make myself a pair in lornas lace shepherd sock yarn, either irving park, embers or red rover colourway. i already have pure red socks, so im thinking the irving park might be nice.

of course, i wont be doing that until my tax refund cheque arrives and i pay all the bills im ignoring!

and now its conveniently nearly 4pm and too late to do anymore work as i have to have a coffee, pack the car, and drive the dogs up to sydney for flyball training!

till tomorrow
k xx

goin' off

for once, not me! now i have decided a course of action my angst is gone. thanks for the kind thoughts on that front!

the surf's up today, as they say, but no one is surfing this beach as its pretty wild:

and some gratuitous dog pix - possum waiting at the bottom of the walkway for jem to chase her:

jem chasing her:

and some trent took the other day of possum posing by the pool (alliteration intended):

no real progress on the sock to report today. my next pair of socks are going to have a pattern in them or something and i am going to shout myself some lorna's laces. im sick of stocking stitch socks. probably get less ladders if they're lace too. thanks for the tips on the ladder issue. if i were still in The Can i would be attending a certain workshop next weekend and asking all about ladders in socks!

k xx

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

trying not to rant

at the risk of sounding like a broken record, i am very agitated today. have been for a few days. since the last encounter with the supervisory-type person, i have been very irritable and, dare i say it, cranky. unfortunately this has manifested as an antipathy towards all persons of the male persuasion, especially when they appear to be criticising, making fun of, or telling me what to do. i say appear, because they may not actually be doing these things.

i had a meeting this morning with someone who is not a supervisory type but is a female academic in my school and she was very helpful. she did however, make me realise that the best way to deal with 'the issue' is to talk, possibly to the supervisory-type himself, about it. i am only 6 months away, less, from submitting my thesis, and we really need to clear the decks so to speak. her advice was to ask him whether he wanted to help or hinder that process. once i had his clear response, i could act accordingly.

this is good sensible advice but it makes me agitated. a, because it means i have to DO something and b, because i feel like i shouldnt have to DO anything. it shouldnt be this difficult!

apparently, it quite often is, however.

so, i hereby issue a blanket apology to all males who i may have been, or thought about being, cranky with. i want to yell and scream and rant and say all sorts of un-pc things, and i am trying really hard not to do that. some of it may slip out the side, however. i apologise in advance for that as well.

meantime i am finding the spider socks very fast going, for someone who allows herself only night-time, tv-watching, knitting, given i have so much work to do on The Book (let alone The Thesis).

here is what they look like today in the grey cold outdoors:

this is a good representation of the colours, they are gorgeous and the wool is beautiful and soft to work with. the picot edges are harder than i thought (bells!) so i experimented on other wool first and i got them right first go this time, its the attaching to the inside of the sock thats difficult, i have trouble knowing which part of a stitch to pick up and knit into.

and i am still really hopeless at corners on three needles. see the litte ladders (circled)?

the yarn harlot says to just pull your first couple of stitches of each needle tighter and i do try and do this but they're still not great. anyone got any anti-ladder tips?

so the only other thing i am not-ranting about it is how frustrating it is to have to do 'real work' when all i want to do is finish my socks.

but you all sympathise with that one, right?

kms xxx

Monday, July 09, 2007

a hit

thanks so much for all the comments re the baby cardi. despite the fact that all i can see are the errors, i must admit it did turn out kind of nice and the merino bambino is really lovely wool, i wouldnt mind a little cream cardi myself! it got handed over at the baby shower on saturday and everyone let out a big 'aaaah' when they saw it, and then they were really impressed when they realised id made it myself. i was surprised that people were surprised. non-knitters are weird.

i also gave mum-to-be the pair of socks i originally knitted for her ages ago, which she also really loved. its important to give things to the mum i think, not just to the baby.

so now i am starting the pants and beanie to match.

but first i made some progress on my berry stripey picot spider socks:

but this picture doesnt do the colours or the pattern justice, its the picot edge socks from blackdogknits so there is a row of eyelets that looks wonky right now but is going to have a cute velvet ribbon through it.

i love making socks, i just wish i were better at it.

and its a miserable old day here, rain and wind again, so im off to the gym and then to uni to do some admin. yawn.

hope you all had a great weekend, canberra girls please post pix of fibre day porn!
k xxx

Friday, July 06, 2007

finished objects

alright!! the baby jacket is done. here it is all sewn up with no buttons or decorations:

and here it is fully decorated:

this is the pattern (in pink) that its supposed to be:

i went with cream (in merino bambino) because i started before we knew the gender of the baby, but now we know its a girl, called Lola, and her mum is not averse to a bit of pink herself, so i decided to stay traditional. the next thing for Lola is a matching set of pants, but i saw some fantastic red and red-striped bambino in craplight this morning and i think a matinee jacket if i ever get the recipe will look good in that.

i didnt think a baby jacket would be such hard work! too many small pieces, too much sewing up, but worth it :)

also finished today is my chapter for the book im co-editting (its all in that folder):

now i just need to write the conclusion and format everyone else's chapters. no problems.

also yesterday i became a proper fully fledged member of the gym ive been going to and i am annoyed that i didnt get time to go there today, which is a frightening thing for me to have just said. i apologise.

have a good weekend, esp to all those fibre whores in The Can, cant tell you how much i miss you guys

k xx

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

not bleagh

now for the good news.

jacket bits all done:

shoulders sewn and neck knitted up (no pattern-corrupting fairy here today, she is busy over at georgie's!):

chapter for book so close to finished its not funny and its good!

and i just bought some nice thick scotch fillet for dinner.

bite me, tofu.

k ;-)

bleagh (or, tofu and the patriarchy)

thats how i feel this morning, and there are a couple of culprits.

first, i cooked the tofu last night. those with weak stomachs, look away now.



ready to eat:

it was ok really, a bit tough, and it doesnt really absorb the marinade much. i think i need to buy some really good quality stuff. or else just not bother.

for those wondering what the big deal is, the whole blood pressure debacle made me realise i dont eat enough green stuff, even tho my blood pressure turned out to be fine. i will be 39 this year and i have come to the realisation that you dont just get old one day and die, its a slow lengthy process, and one that needs managing. ergo, if i eat some green stuff it might not be so dramatic. the tofu was added as a red meat substitute. f*** that idea. give me dead animal anyday.

the other culprit for my bleagh-ness is just the usual. i dont like to whinge. (ok yes i do). i know im very lucky to be doing a phd in a field that is of personal interest and hopefully of some longer term social significance. (if i hear one more news story about how young people hanging around in groups or hooning around in cars are un-australian and therefore terrorists im going to go postal and shoot someone myself). but i am soooo sick of the bullshit that goes with academia. let me be more specific, male academia. i have two male supervisors. they both have egos the size of a small planet. one at least knows this about himself and has some reason for his ego, being very well published and well read and intelligent and a very senior respected academic. i have not made his life easy but he gets what i am trying to do and is trying really hard to be supportive. my other supervisor i have blogged about before and wont bore you, except to say there is no warrant for the size of his ego apart from the large chip on his shoulder.

we had a major disagreement (which i had to lodge official documentation about) and then he went on leave and i havent seen him for many months. i have been very happy and productive in that time. yesterday he was back on campus. i thought i would be nice and go say hi. he was just downright rude. so the time away hasnt done anything to reduce the ego or the chip, nor to help him let go of a grudge that is entirely his own fault in the first place.

and then i talk to two other males about how to deal with this and they tell me 'dont worry about it, hes a dickhead'. yes i KNOW this but is it really the case that men just dont worry about anything? do they REALLY not have feelings, or are they just so 'well socialised' that they have them and then really get over them? or, and this is my preferred reading, do they have the same feeelings as the rest of us, but they are supposed to repress and sublimate them, and thats why they go and start wars? and then they think that this is the normal way of being in the world....

so today, tofu and the patriarchy really get my goat, as they say.

on a lighter note, i am only about 4 rows from finishing the baby jacket pieces. i will sew it up over lunch and blog it later today.

k >:(

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


bells has a little meme thing going on, where you go look at the songs that were number one or whatever the year you turned 18. well wasnt that a trip down memory lane?

in 1986, my final year of high school out there in the country (tamworth), we were treated to such masterpieces as 'rock me amadeus' and 'say you say me'. cringe factor very high.

however, there are some songs on that list that i remember with fondness. i was coming out of a rather heavy new romantics phase, so pet shop boys were kind of revolutionary, helping to make the transition from duran duran to new order. yes i even had an aysmmetrical hair cut (ie, a bob that was longer on one side than on the other). hence it should come as no surprise that human league were kind of big in my world that year.

i desperately hated anything that looked like power ballads, eg whitney houston, or just plain crap, eg huey lewis. but i didnt mind a bit of madonna, although her big hits in 86, live to tell and papa dont preach, were the beginning of the end for me. i too, was a material girl kind of madonna fan.

but the song that stands out for me in 1986 was Venus by Bananarama. not because its a fine piece of songmanship (although, it being a cover, it was pretty much the best banana-girls song). rather, its because at the end of year 12, in those days, muck up days were still permitted. after the last exam (which was mine probably, 3 unit ancient history i suspect), we drove up to the lookout at the top of the hill above our school and drank all night, coming down at 6am to toilet paper the school, and then we put on a farewell concert for the whole school, where we made fun of our teachers, stumbled through little semi-satirical political sketches (a la the chaser), and performed some musical numbers. a lot of my school mates were very musically talented, the boys (that is, the pool of about 6 that my group of girls dated from) were in a band, and the whole year did a very fine rendition of Twist and Shout from our favourite movie that year, Ferris Buellers Day Off. but the highlight was me and two of my friends, nat and kerryn, pretending to be bananarama, and doing a rather lively rendition of venus. complete with red catsuits. need i say more?

ah yes, the 80s. the decade that taste forgot.

k :)

Monday, July 02, 2007

almost perfect

thanks everyone for the kind words after last weeks tribulations. things have been improving, including, importantly, my blood pressure. i finally got back to the gym to do my induction thingy and had a different instructor, a very nice young woman, who measured my BP properly and got a better reading even than my doctor. we like her. she showed me around and i did some walking on the machine and a circuit of weightlifting. i used to do weights at some of the meat-head gyms in sydney, and that was kind of intimidating. this was most relaxed and even, dare i say, fun. i like the whole big-screen loud music thing. even tho i was a bit sore, i went back on sunday and did a class. yes i know, its scary. whats even scarier is that i kind of kept up and (dont tell anyone) had fun. today i am so sore i can hardly move so im 'resting'. i took the dogs up the beach instead:

beautiful day.

this morning i have been working on my chapter for the book im co-editting, its actually fitting together quite well (its a rewrite of the italy paper) and should have something passable by the end of the day, in time for a meeting with the other editor tomorrow.

the only thing that makes today almost perfect instead of actually perfect, is that i dont have more time in which to knit the rest of the baby jacket. i need it done by saturday for the baby shower, and i am halfway up the first sleeve. i went to craplight to get some smaller needles for it and was shocked at the mess that passes for a knitting section and the almost complete lack of decent wool. like, no patonyle. in fact, no 4 ply at all that wasnt baby wool. how am i to make socks i ask? dont they wear wool socks here? very distressing.

i didnt get to the local snb on saturday to ask about this because we had flyball training, we are trying to get two new dogs ready for a comp in albury in three weeks. someone had the indecency to make me run even after i had been to the gym. rude.

by the way, i had some broccoli with my roast chook last night and am going to marinate the tofu for a vegetarian noodle stir fry thing for tomorrow. i will let you know how it goes :)
k xx