Sunday, June 29, 2008

this one time, at knitting camp...

(well someone had to do it)

seriously tho, i am home from knitting camp and it was just great. i am supposed to run my photos past someone for their approval first so i will be generic.

this is the view from outside the lodge:

this is the inside of the lodge after trivia contest, which came after 'christmas in july' dinner:

my table didnt win but we did get a perfect score on the Yarn Knowledge set of questions, largely because we were able to confirm that Lang Carpe Diem is made from baby alpaca and extrafine merino. so you know... the important stuff and all that....

these are the stairs that i fell down:

yes i did it, the first night, and im the only person in the whole bloody knitting world that doesnt drink!! after that we were all supposed to walk down the ramp, but we didnt, and i managed to work out how to stay upright in ugg boot slippers which i have never worn outside the house before. thats my defense and im sticking to it.

i got my moses fire 'swirly girl' socks finished, here they are with all the other self knitted socks people were wearing (bottom centre):

this is Room Number One of the Chalet, blurry to protect the guilty (we cant show you her face):

let us not speak of what took place in here.

i will just thank my roommates donni, bells, rosered and mel for the best laugh ive had in ages, and also the lovely ladies from CR&K who organised the whole thing, with the great food, and a huge thanks to all the lovely knitters i met, including finally putting some faces to bloggers, and also for the help i got from knitabulous with the ball winding and advice on the top down cardi which has been cast on (twice so far).

i am now madly washing and packing for a week in melbourne, i have the important information with me (ie, how to get to woolbaa from my hotel), and i probably wont post again till next weekend.

by the way, i SOOOO knew george would have the bump while we were at camp. hi grace!

k xx

ps thanks for the lovely comments after my last whine, you all made me smile :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

the longest foot

i hearby solemly swear to never whinge about being bored, or stuck at home, or how painful it is being a student, ever again. even tho i dont have a single full time job, i have three part time ones now, and its HORRIBLE!!

not the actual work part, i love the work im doing and am very excited about future prospects.

but the TIME! where does it go?!

its either a lack of time, or because i have the longest foot in the world, that these socks appear to be taking forever:

i love them but god, they are so slow. because of this, i have nothing new to post. i swore i would not cast on anything new till these were done but its knitting camp starting tonight (i am going straight from work now) and i will be sorely tempted once i have wound up my skeins of possum-merino to start on the lily cardigan.

and the other horror about the whole working-too-much-nothing-new-to-show or tell, is that i am so boring that no one leaves any comments anymore.

my life is over......

k xx

Monday, June 23, 2008

nothing to see here

it is a terrible state of affairs when you start a new job that means you actually have to go in to work! the office of the AHA (no i am not working for the australian hoteliers association, trent) is currently at macquarie uni but with a change in president i will be working at UNSW so it means helping with the move across town, which means i need training plus we have to pack up the office etc. i went up on friday and it was fun, there is a lot to learn but its really interesting and there is a lot of scope for some really exciting projects and so many great opportunities for me, i am really excited about it.

however, i have to go up again tomorrow and maybe even thursday and then to unsw on friday to sign paperwork etc. this means 1) i might not get to knitting camp till sat morning (aaaaagh) and 2) i had to spend almost all the weekend marking essays, much to trents (and my) annoyance. if i teach again next session i am definitely going to consider marking a workday only task.

i did have time to go for a drive up mt kembla yesterday with trent and we had a lovely lunch at the mt kembla pub and on sat morning i managed to meet amanda and her mum and the girls at the wollongong spinners and weavers exhibit:

where donni was displaying some of her beautiful scarves. i coveted the one she had around her neck but considered it rude to ask if i could have it, and i did try on the red one, but i abstained in favour of only buying baby stuff for someone. it hasnt been gifted yet so i cant really show it to you, all i can say is its not yellow:

so far today i have walked the dogs, washed up, had coffee/breakfast, read two book chapters for a meeting, and now must shower and rush off for a hectic day of marking and catch up meetings before rushing home, feeding dogs and heading off to the football (as if the bunnies can beat the titans, but anyway, one must be a loyal supporter regardless).

i am not at all sure about this working business....

k xx

Thursday, June 19, 2008


well i have been swallowed whole by the pile of marking that seemed to grow before my very eyes and i have not been able to get much past the heel on the second swirly sock:

i want to finish these so i can start a pair of simple rib socks in my other knittery merino/cashmere, and also because i cant wait and am going to hand wind a skein of that possum merino and start mucking around with that. yes i know i should finish the shawl first, but im thinking that might be knitting camp material, nice and warm in the lap, so its like wearing it while still knitting it. isnt it ironic that we have been back in wollongong a whole year and i have not made it to one single stitch and bitch usually because we have dog training or comps on the weekends, but i am free the weekend of knitting camp. i am just a little bit excited.

the last few days since i finished the hat have been a little warm but our naked buddha boy statue seems to like it:

i forgot to tell i inherited a sewing machine from dave:

thanks dave! it looks pretty cool and i am keen to try my hand at project bags and i set it all up and sat down and then realised i had no idea how to thread it:


apart from marking, i have about a gazzilion research assistant hours to finish before i start the new job sometime around july 14, and in there i also have a whole week in melbourne for the asian studies conference where the hegemony book is being officially launched. there is at least one day in the program where i can slip away and you know i need suggestions for yarn stores in the CBD, i am staying at albert park.

in other news, i have been asked to give the Vote of Thanks from students at my graduation in july. i will be talking on behalf of all graduands from arts, law and education. i think it is a pretty big deal, i am a little chuffed about it, but i am also trying to work out how to slip some kind of social justice message in there as well. somehow i dont think getting up and yelling 'stick it to the man' will be considered acceptable....

food for thought anyway.

k xx

Monday, June 16, 2008

better hat pictures

addendum to the hat harlot post below, here are some better pictures of the no pattern hat, in the sun:

on a jar:

shame about the turn up brim, i would have done it in reverse if i knew my hand measurement was so much bigger than my actual head. am i the first person to blow a hole in the harlot's methodology? (of course, she would say i just didnt do it right, and shed probly be right).

k xx

hat harlot

continuing on a theme (sorry amanda), i have at least managed to be monogomous long enough to finish something. this is the yarn harlot's no pattern hat from 'knitting rules'.

yarn: perriedale 100% undyed handspun merino (purchased at old bus depot markets in canberra)
needles: 4mm straights
cast on: 102 stitches

i added a short section of 3x1 rib for the brim and then followed the harlots instructions working back and forth in garter stitch until it was as long as my hand from base of palm to tip of longest finger, then i decreased using the Type A method. she said this would make a nice spiral effect on the crown and it does but you cant see it so much in white:

she also said it is better to have a slightly longer hat than it be too short.

thats lucky then isnt it?

if you turn the rib up it actually fits really nice and snug on my head which is slightly larger than my teddy bears! for a first go of a hat i really like it and the wool is so lovely and soft and warm. even the sewing up wasnt too bad.

i am also turning the heel of the swirly girl sock number two so if i am lucky will have another thing Off The Needles by tomorrow night. at which point i can morally justify casting on at least two more.....

k xx

Friday, June 13, 2008

fibre whore

i am worse than a knitting slut.

the other night i was working on trents hat and got bored so i switched to a sock and then trent says 'hows your shawl going?'. oh right, the shawl. so i put down the sock and started again on the shawl. its going well thanksverymuch.

yesterday i had a little job interview in sydney, its just a part time project officer job but still in the history profession (it went well but you never know who else youre up against) and then there was some craft fair thing happening at darling harbour so i went down there.

i didnt see any signs but i found it by following all the old ladies.

theres a reason 'craft' has a reputation for being something only old ladies do. i think the average age in that hall was about 67 - not that theres anything wrong with that - in fact, theyre quite nice so long as you dont want to look at the same piece of fabric they do.

but you would think that the only craft out there was quilting. of course, im just jealous cos i cant sew a straight line to save myself, but really folks, get with the times. 5 yarn stalls. thats it. and they were all packed. with younger people. (that is, me and a certain rosered who i met for lunch!) what does this tell you? i imagine it costs a lot to have a stall at a craft fair so i understand that part but it was, um, interesting.

and is it just me or does anyone else find serious crafters just a little bit scary?

anyway, i still got to be a fibre whore.

colinette jitterbug - one for me (yes its red ok!):

and one for trent (this one is almost edible):

and possum/merino from new zealand for the cardigan:

1300 metres of it. do you think thats enough?! it is a lovely soft 5 ply and i am going to knit it on bigger needles to open it up for a between season type look. i am thinking of this one.

i also picked up a few little bits and pieces for a 12 year olds birthday present:

not the pod obviously.

also, because i am about to inherit a sewing machine, and because i want to try my hand at making project bags, i was lured by the lovely japanese fabrics, and got me some of this:

i have enough to make two good size project bags. if i can figure out how to sew in a straight line of course!

k xx

ETA: i just found out i got the job! woot. at the risk of blowing my anonymity right out of the water, as of july 14 i become the new executive officer of the australian historical association. cool.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

moving right along

i am such a knitting slut. i promised myself when i finished lichen rib socks that i wouldnt start anything else until the swirly girl socks and the red shetland were finished.

but it didnt feel right to not be knitting something for trent. he says he doesnt need anymore socks right now. he does of course but maybe hes just sick of oohing and aahing over sock patterns and every centimetre of progress.

so i decided it was time to start a hat. i looked into it, i tried a few patterns, then i decided i would just wing it, yarn harlot style. i did a little swatch (yes yes but without a pattern it was important to try and figure out how many stitches to cast on for a 56cm head and the yarn is a kind of hand spun so its irregular in the ply-age department), and trent decided he liked the effect of it in garter stitch best, and then i thought a little rib around the edges might help to keep it on said head. but i hate single and double rib, so i did k3p1. its fun so far:

i know its not in the round, but i dont have the right length cable as two of my knitpicks cables are in action elsewhere, and sewing a short hat seam cant be THAT bad can it? this is beautiful yarn, natural (ie no colour) 100% merino straight off the sheeps back from a farm at cooma.

the best thing about starting a long weekend (some old imperial monarchs symbolic birthday apparently) still sick and when its raining is that you can easily justify doing this

rather than this:

marking? what marking? i dont see any marking....

k xx

Sunday, June 08, 2008

crisis averted

everyone can breath a sigh of relief, knitting has resumed. as olivia predicted, the thing passed rather quickly, although i would not say i feel particularly confident to eat anything other than steamed rice and vegies tonight. again. nice way to go on a crash diet i guess.

i managed to crawl out of the house long enough yesterday (albeit in my pyjamas) to go to daves place for a tupperware party. trent needs some new rock n serves for work lunches and i really need some of those fridge vegie containers, so we got both. the sock came out of hiding while there:

today, trent has come down with a version of some illness himself, he cant decide if its flu or gastro or the thing you get before you die, but he is on the lounge, it is still raining, and the lichen ribs are finished. i tried to use his fancy new camera and got this:

he changed the setting and then the colour came up properly:

when there was some whinging at being moved around and a comment like 'there is a person attached to them you know', i explained, camera in hand, yes, and at film school we called them 'soft props'. so temperamental, these actor types.

anyway, project specs: Lichen Rib Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks (mansize)
Wool: Burrawool 5 ply naturally coloured border leicester in grey. just short of 100g exactly.
Needles knitpicks wood harmony DPNs (4) 2.5mm
CO: 60 stitches.
Mods: Leg and heel are as per pattern, the heel is a really nice variation on a short row thing that used a seam stitch and made a groovy little pattern under the heel. its a Welsh heel apparently. i like the effect of it but i needed to read it line by line so wont be reverting to it as a standard anytime soon. the pattern had a star of three points toe and that also required line by line, and these were car socks, so i just substituted my know-it-by-heart standard flat toe.

they have come up lovely and soft and warm and will be good under boots.

now i think its time to make a hat, finally.

k xx

Friday, June 06, 2008


please feel free to sing the beegees song as you read

seriously tho, it is a tragedy. yesterday i was hit very suddenly by some horrid gastro thing and had to, quite literally, run home. i was violently ill and crawled into bed for hours waiting for trent to get home with medicines, drugs, lemonade, anything...

the pharmacist tells him theres a bit of it going around.

oh great.

people warned me when i finished the phd i would get sick, and i have been more sickly these last few months than in the last 5 years.

i dont like it, i dont do sick well.

but the real tragedy is that i am too weak and tired to knit! what the?!

what is the point of being forcibly confined to the lounge with the fire glowing and a cup of tea to sip, only to be unable to lift a little sock and four little wood needles?

like i said, tragedy.

i know you feel my pain :)

k xx

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 a meme

or, everyone else is doing it....

1. What was i doing ten years ago?

almost literally, a politics exam. i had decided to go back to uni to finish my original BA after a few, um, distractions. trent and i had just moved down to wollongong and were living in government housing trying to get our lives back together, and we had our first dog, scout, who would later die in tragic circumstances, and despite it being govt housing surrounded by every dropkick on the east coast, we lived in a great spot and had a very simple, no frills life. i was 29 going on 30 feeling like a not-so-mature mature age student but i really kicked arse at uni this time around, HDs all the way.

2. What are five, non-work things, on my to-do list for today?

well stupidly i am writing this at the end of the day, but it goes something like this. finish this meme. finish making spag bol. kiss trent when he comes home and run through the 'what you did today' conversations. watch trent play with his new camera while i finally turn the heel on the second of his lichen rib socks. watch ncis in bed.

3. Snacks i enjoy?

oh god where do i start? you remember those Ruffles chips? they were my favourite. where have they gone? in lieu of them, any potato chip. preferably cheese and onion or salt and vinegar. vegemite on toast. really good fresh turkish bread and home made hommous. other assorted evil things, eg, kfc wicked wings and a bowl of real tiramisu. not really snacks tho, are they?

4. things i would do if i were a billionaire?

i hate to be me about it, but the first thing would be to buy a working sheep farm, and/or a house on an isolated stretch of beach. set up a press for young or first time writers, esp politically motivated ones. sponsor an aboriginal community project or two. knit. a lot. buy an original vermeer. retire to italy.

5. places i have lived?

this one is embarrassingly long. originally, maroubra then cronulla (sydney beach suburbs). then a sheep farm near tamworth. bruce hall at anu, followed by B&G and a flat in hackett. back to the sheep farm. various share houses in darlinghurst, newtown, summer hill. various government establishments (dont ask). a little house with trent in balmain. a government house in bellambi. back to sydney (concord) and then a house of a friend in redfern, then a flat on cleveland st ( i do believe that was hell), followed by a house in chippendale. then i think it was wollongong again (i may have the order muddled up here) to the house we are in again now, then to jamberoo than to macgregor, ACT, then back here to wollongong. yes im exhausted.

6. jobs i have had?

the usual childhood shop assistant type things. the shoe dept at big w tamworth for example. lots of childcare, afterschool care at lyneham public. vacation care. agency babysitting for posh people and hotels in sydney. a few semi-legal things. ok, they werent 'semi' legal at all but they were still work! policy administrator at an insurance company. admin and project officer at a big govt health service. research assistant, tutor and lecturer at uni. some new things on the horizon.

7. peeps i want to know more about.

antonio gramsci. sigmund freud. johhny depp. ok, so theyre not my peeps. but you get my drift.

meme away.

k xx

the usual post-weekend wrap

it seems these days that i end up blogging about either the weekend im about to have or the one i just had. so, here is todays installment about the weekend i just had.

it was trents birthday. we went up to sydney on saturday to watch the big tv with the cable thingy attached so we could see the waratahs lose to the crusaders in the super14 final (we dont have the cable thingy down here in our little shoe box). shame about the loss, but they played well, it wasnt a complete disgrace. i would say next year but theyve sacked the coach so....

i made the stephanie alexander cheesecake, this is what it looked like fresh out of the oven:

we got trent out of the house in the morning so the kids could do their surprise preparations which involved a lot of balloon blowing up and present wrapping:

in case you cant tell, the kids gave trent a heap of manly sea eagles paraphenalia - he was born in manly hospital so he gets to be fan otherwise i wouldnt speak to him.

then we went to a rugby league game out at the olympic stadium where about 12,000 people spread out in a stadium designed to take 80,000 and watched the bunnies go down to st george. not surprising. rusty was there tho, despite all this weeks drama. with the kid.

if trent had taken his other present he would have got photos of the pony-tail wearing one. thats because this is what i gave him for his birthday:

a digital SLR. trent takes good photos, i thought it was time he got to take them on a good camera. its only a starter one, not like a professional job or anything, but gee it takes nice pics.

for example, here is the cheesecake just before eating:

the best cheesecake ive ever eaten, let alone made myself :)

here is a little something i got in the mail yesterday for winning michelles blog contest:

isnt it divine? i think it will go well with the shawl, n'est pas?

there is no way my little digital would take such good colour shots in todays light, given it is raining (yay!!).

meanwhile, i am happy to report that despite the fact i still dont have a functioning office at uni (wednesday, i am assured), i am feeling rather calm and am starting to get an idea of what life is like post-phd. like i did some work yesterday for someone else, and it felt great. i didnt have to rush and think about what else i should be doing. i wasnt stretching my brain so bad it hurt. i left when i had done what i needed to do and today i will do some more of it at home. it feels a little bit normal. about bloody time!

k xx