Tuesday, April 24, 2007

no more sleeps

well technically speaking there is one more sleep but i dont think i will be doing too much of it tonight and i am leaving home at7am tomorrow so wont have time to blog then.

tomorrow morning i head off for two weeks in italy (its actually only 9 days when you take away the time it takes to get there and back). of course i am workshopping and conferencing so will be very busy and will have no time to look at paintings, drink coffee or throw coins in a fountain.

im not sure what sort of internet access i will have over there but will try and blog if possible, if not, see you all again on thursday the 10th of may.

stay well.
k xx

Monday, April 23, 2007

waratah socks

ok here they are, finished at 6am this morning. usual difficulties of photographing for correct colour apply.



pattern: picot eyelet socks

issues: firstly yarn - i had no idea what ply the yarn in the pattern was and i had 5ply. also i didnt have 3mm dpns so i used 2.75. also i have slighter wide feet so i went with 66 stitches. for the first sock, this was a problem - it was too big in the heel and i also knitted to 17cm from the heel. too long. the second sock was 64 stitches and 15cm, much better fit all round. secondly, i didnt knit the second eyelet row for the ribbon, these were really a practice exercise cos im using this pattern for my berry stripey spider socks including black velvet ribbon (which are coming to italy with me, not in my carry-on luggage of course). thirdly finishing at 5am in the morning. both these socks suffer from the laziness of their maker and the curse of the three needle cast off. not so bad in the first sock. the second sock was cast off at about 550am and so im doing the three needle thing thinking gee, this is easier than usual, only to discover that i have forgotten the cast off part and simply knit the two rows together onto one needle, which then required casting off in the usual manner. hence the rather clunky toe on the second sock.

dear ms spider, i hereby promise to only graft my sock toes from now on, love kylie.

waking up early

its 4.40am monday morning. i have been waking up early the last week or so. hmm cant think why! usually i lay in bed for a while, toss and turn, disturb trent and go back to sleep only to wake up groggier than i would have been if i just got up. so this morning i decided to just get up. of course, there is nothing on tv unless you are in need of your soul being saved (for only 99.95 a month) or one of those new bean exercise things (also 99.95 a month - hmmm decisions). so i am on the computer before i go finish the second waratah sock (i'm at the toe, its close).

i have been reading about someone who dances with sheep and jo's excellent analysis of her progress in herding, and, for those who care, she is right where she's supposed to be, progress wise i mean, except in the fifth herding photo, shes in the wrong spot in the paddock, firstly leaving the open side for the sheep to run into and especially if we consider first pattern jo but i suspect that this was what was being yelled down the hill at you! and what is this weird reference to a dog you found at the camping show? strange girl. note to non-flyball people, be careful of flyballers, they're a little bit weird. especially if they see you have a fast little dog - run screaming if they come near you with a tape measure.

also at 440 in the morning, i am searching google scholar for references to gramsci's work on the turin factory councils. i have made reference to this aspect of his work in my paper for the italian conference but i am a bit nervous about it, partly because its a very well known aspect of his work in italy especially and its only new to me (also i dont have all the sources available where he wrote about them so my understanding is rather shallow at this point) and secondly because i have picked only one aspect of this work to write about and its the most controversial and i will be lucky not to get hammered. by the way, there is nothing useful on google scholar, going to jstor now. i usually prefer databases but sometimes google can surprise. not today.

perhaps its too early for google. its too early for me. need coffee....
k xx

Friday, April 20, 2007


i am not a big believer in things like fate or destiny and i have for a long time struggled with the idea of faith. actually no i havent struggled, i just dont have any. but some things have happened lately that really make me wonder.

first there is the italy thing. i knew about this conference last year and hoped to be able to go but couldnt see how i/we could afford it so put it out of my mind. then someone suggested i should ask the faculty for support when i didnt think there would be any forthcoming, and i got it with relative ease. its not like theyre paying for everything, just the airfare, but once i had decided it might be possible to go, it has become possible. i have even started saving my pennies:

haha. really, these were left over from the trip to amsterdam last year. this should be enough to buy me a latte in the piazza venezia. ok maybe half a latte. anyway, we leave sydney airport wednesday afternoon and i must confess to being overly excited and somewhat weirded out. how is it possible that this time next week i will be sitting in a workshop in the gramsci institute in rome with all the big whigs? too freakin' bizarre. we are in rome for 4 days (two days workshops) and then travel to sardinia where there are 5 days of conferencing and activities. sorry, i'll stop now.

but this is not the weirdest thing that has happened. for a while trent and i have been talking about leaving The Can. we came here for work (his) and he has never liked it, workwise or for living. i like living here and the knitting community is fantastic and i really really love the cold, but i do miss seeing my uni friends etc everyday and i have never really acclimatised to living inland as opposed to the open feeling of living on the coast. so anyway, trent decides to quit his job and just see what happens and almost immediately is contacted about opportunities in sydney. there was one job he really liked straight away and he had a phone interview earlier this week and went up yesterday and they made an offer on the spot. we didnt even have time to worry about it. he will get some kind of official-on-paper offer today and starts there on may 14. all contingent on contracts being signed etc, youre never at ease till the ink is on the page, but still...

so thinking about working in sydney means thinking about living in sydney. unless we're living in a fantastically renovated terrace in newtown we have our doubts about living there again, not the least because now we have TWO dogs and the rental market up there is a killer. so we were thinking about camden, close enough for me to get to wollongong, big houses, lots of land, but a bit of a commute for trent. and then we thought about helensburgh, that would have been a perfect compromise but all the houses we looked at there were 'no pets'. so wollongong itself was being contemplated.

so im in wollongong wednesdays and thursdays, and after teaching this wednesday my usual dinner-mate wasnt around (something about being stuck in port moresby!) so i went to get some dinner and thought, i'll just drive down to the beach where we used to live and eat my dinner there. so i go do that and there are a few big houses now but not much else has changed and it was very nice. so then i thought, i'll just drive around the corner and check out our old house. it was a little beach shack right opposite towradgi (pronounced toe-rodgee) beach. and what do you think i see there? yes thats right people, a For Lease sign. its the back house on a battle-axe block and in the front house live the landlords, geoff and vicki. i ring trent and he says go knock on the door so i do and geoff and vicki are still there (they now have a little baby called Lily, awwww) and i tell them that we are looking to move back from canberra and they immediately offered us our old house back, at less than the current market rent and they will wait for us to get our shit together here. they have been doing some work to the house and its in better condition than when we lived there before and it just felt like home and its all too weird really. i told them i would wait to hear if trent got his job and would let them know.

here is the house as it looks today:

here is the view from the end of the driveway!

so it looks like the end of may we're out of here. too weird. it just happened too easily, and i am starting to think there is someone watching our back.

meanwhile, the second waratah sock has turned a heel:

now i must go do something normal like the grocery shopping.

hope everyone else has some good luck come their way today!
k xx

Monday, April 16, 2007


yes i am the queen of the unfinished objects right now. two posts below is the back of the wrap and i have not proceeded to the front yet, partly because the pattern is frightening and secondly because there are two small things i want to get finished before i go to italy (9 sleeps and counting).

so here is the baby jacket for erin's little girl due in august whose name is lola. cute!!

and here is the start of the second waratah sock (not the first, as i have already knitted the first - see comments of post below for further confusion!). i have two pictures one with flash:

one without:

the colours in the second are closer to the real colours. it looks different again outside.

meanwhile the weekend was spent again out in a paddock chasing sheep, although this time at least miss possum did most of the chasing and she did it very well. we have had quite a mental breakthough and possum gets now that she works sheep for me, not for her own pleasure, but that these two things are not mutally exclusive. it feels different to have a dog who is not fighting me all the time and perhaps when we trial again i may do a little better!! jo and dave came herding as well and stayed here for the weekend- they both have kelpies, kobe worked out in the paddock this time and did great and annie is only 7 months old so is new to the whole thing but shows a great deal of promise. gittim annie! i dont have pix, i suspect they will be posted shortly on the 4ks.

we had a great weekend tho, i cooked an awesome roast chook on friday night followed by the cheesecake, which i am pleased to report was sweet and slightly lemony and almost perfect - it needs a smaller tin. and the company was pretty good too :)

back to the paper-writing
k xx

Friday, April 13, 2007

it appears to have worked...

because the last task which i have to perform today is my least favourite, that is, vacuuming, i am finding there are a lot of things i need to blog about.

firstly i remembered to put sugar in the cheesecake and the mixture tasted nice, sweet with a hint of lemon. the initial ten minutes in the oven was too hot (cant turn off the fan) and it burnt the slightly overhanging crust:

but i have scraped the burnt bits off and it seems fine now:

except for the burnt crumbs on the top. sigh. i cant do a taste test on it till after dinner. fingers crossed.

meanwhile, the dogs sleeping beds have been put outside while i do the floors. they have taken turns in curling up in them. first possum:

cheeky little devil. then jem.

who says cattle dogs aren't really teddy bears!

i have also cast on and done three rounds of the waratah sock, that was my lunch break. but you dont need to see a picture of that. nor do you need to see pictures of my nice clean floors. if i ever get them.

have a great weekend
k xx

wrap in progress part one

ok, i finished the back of the wrap last night and here are my feeble attempts at taking pictures of it. im not blocking it yet, its just pinned out so you can see, and my camera angle is weird because i am trying not to cast a shadow over it, so it looks crooked but its not really:

there are a few things i learnt along the way - ssk is harder than it looks and im not sure if ive done it right so one side of my shaping is a little dodgy. measuring a 10 inch armhole is hard - from what point to where? - but i did try and make it as close to that as suggested, which means the whole thing is about half an inch shorter than required but that will block out. it has some funny little thing going on in the shoulder with the wrap and turn short rows - what the? - but i think its come up ok. mostly i am happy with the way the fabric is turning out - lovely and smooth and drapey (yes its a word spider cos i said so) - and there is no sign of fluffiness or pilling and the colour is perfect.

and now that i have contracted startitis from certain people, and dont feel comfortable unless i have at least three things OTN at once, i am going to cast on the second waratah sock before i start the rather more challenging front of the wrap.

i was hoping to get to a sunday snb this month as i thought it was next sunday (the 22nd) but it turns out its this sunday (the 15th) and i am down at michelago playing with sheep again. oh well.

today i am cleaning the house and making a baked cheese cake because jo and dave are staying here for the weekend (they like to play with sheep as well), so hopefully i remember to put the sugar in this one. will post a pic if it turns out.

k xx

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

treading water

i promised myself i wouldnt post pictures of the wrap until the back was finished. i have done with the armhole shaping and am now working my way up to the neck. the pattern is silly, it says to continue in stst until it measures 10inches from the first cast off row of the armhole. considering the armhole started at 14 inches from the band, why not just tell me to knit until the whole thing is 24 inches from the band, given that measuring 10 inches from a crooked arm hole to a neck line is a pain in the butt. so im just going to knit to 24 inches and i am hoping i will hit that sometime in the next 24-48 hours. it would be sooner if i wasnt being hampered by a pesky little paper i need to write for this conference in italy, which i leave for in only 13 sleeps! i wrote 1400 words of it today, good words too.

in the meantime here are some more pix of autumn. one out the bedroom window:

i hate this tree, all through spring and summer it makes me sneeze to buggery.

and then theres the vine in the backyard with the messy rose bushes.

pruning needs to happen soon i imagine, i have no idea about roses.

see you again when the wrap-back is done.
k xx

Monday, April 09, 2007

spring break

my american students appear to be unaware that they are currently residing in the southern hemisphere and wished me a happy spring break in the last class before easter but it is indeed trying very hard to be autumn here - i have pictures to prove it.

spring break or otherwise, we spent the weekend in sydney doing dog training, eating fantastic indian food with good friends at faheems fast food and wandering down king st (memories), and then trekking around the easter show in the rain. usually we are doing some dog thing at the show so it was nice to be able to actually see stuff. i even convinced everyone to go on a ride. trent went a little green. it was great fun!

today the dogs got a wash after a long walk/roll in crap up the horse trail. here is jem not so happy.

but he smells nice now. jo, trent found these in the cupboard, do you think we should return them?!

and i have finally finished trents stripey socks - these are in heirloom jigsaw using pennys basic sock recipe.

i still have some work to do on my sock making technique and i am completely over the rib band at the top, but now i have a baby jacket to finish, the wrap to continue with plus the second waratah sock to knit. so much knitting so little time....

k xx

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


it has always bothered that me that in the blogosphere i am just plain old kylie. when i was setting up this blog i couldnt think of any groovy nicknames, largely because the ones that i had at school, or the ones that derive from kylie, are not groovy. so i have changed my display name to my initials, kms, so when you see that in your comments now you know its me. not particularly original but it beats 'bucky'. dont ask.

Monday, April 02, 2007

knitting in fields with sheep

this weekend was spent in the wilds of camden chasing sheep around a paddock. possum and i are much improved after our one-on-one lesson last weekend - a few simple things needed to change between us and i have seen immediate results. she worked much calmer and with more reference to me, and if i could just remember where i needed to stand we would have better success at moving the actual sheep around. here are a couple of pix:

you cant tell from these pix how much things have changed for us, but the fact that possum is not just a brown blur rushing past the camera should say something. here is a reference to the good old days:

this is the board that robert uses to assign everyone a turn in the ring etc. i was first. he wasnt sure who would end up working the sheep, me or possum. it looks like i won in the end tho! a great weekend for us as a team.

it was also a great weekend socially, drinking coffee with jo and dave and seeing daves little kelpie puppy annie (who happens to come from show stock) show up the rest of us with her natural ability! cute.

sat night we went to a trivia night fundraiser for the flyball club and our table of five (jo, dave, trent, kylie and amber) (called the happy choppers in reference to our recent tupperware purchases, which we picked up on the weekend and am still busy playing with...) beat everyone else. we only had to spend about $50 to bribe the judges for the right answers, so not bad really.

i also got some considerable knitting done. here i am knitting in a field with sheep:

here is the lovely jessica who works her border collie BC and who happens to c*****t but i wont hold that against her.

she is a nice girl otherwise :) and the blanket shes making is really nice actually.

here is the progress of said knitting - the second of trent's socks which should be finished tomorrow night:

and the back of the wrap, complete with shaping:

how fast things go with addi turbos!! its nearly time to start the arm holes apparently!?

and again i have a mountain of washing to do.

k xx