Knitting. Cats. Books. Mood Swings. Stuff. Heh.

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Location: Australia

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


The Seraphim Shawl. Ignore crap in lower right hand corner.

A detail of the bottom edge.

This shawl was a delight to make - I was planning my next one before I even had this one off the needles. The pattern is by Mim - go look! Seriously! This thing is gorgeous, and I love the fact that it's a bit different from most shawl patterns out there. I would love to knit her Adamas shawl as well, but that would trigger my "Knitpicks are Evil Because They Won't Ship Overseas No Matter How Much I Beg" rant. And nobody wants that. I knit it in Patonyle sock yarn - it's very soft and very strong and drapes beautifully.

And now we get to why you have photos of Seraphim instead of pictures of the gorgeous yarn that arrived in the mail yesterday (tomorrow, I promise). I finished this a couple of weeks ago but I hadn't blocked it yet - I hadn't really decided whether I was going to keep it or gift it. I often do that with my knitting - I'm not sure who it's for until I've finished it. Anyhoo, I found out yesterday that one of my colleagues - who survived breast cancer and a double mastectomy two years ago - has secondary cancer on her liver and will be off for another round of chemo next week. She's an incredibly strong woman - I don't know how I would take news like that. She's coming into work today to clear up some stuff before she goes into treatment, and I thought of the Seraphim shawl. So I rushed around and blocked last night (first time I ever blocked anything!) and I'll gift it to her this morning.

The cats were keen to help during this process - Dorian was interested in something that is almost exactly the same colour he is, but a bit worried by the fact that it was damp. Meiko loved the fact that it smelled interesting and there were shiny pins all around the edges. Lulu deemed it irrelevant and continued on her way. The T Pins were great, by the way - so much better than the little ones I would normally have used.

Good thing for the day: Meh. I'll have to get back to you on that.
Bad thing for the day: I'm still absolutely exhausted. Why? Why?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday Morning Whining

Carrie, this one is for you! This is my mum wearing the first shawl I ever knitted - again with the purple. You can't see the pattern along the bottom edge too clearly, but the pattern up the middle shows up beautifully. Now all I have to do is hope that mum doesn't find out that I've been posting pictures of her on the internet!

It's Monday morning. I don't wanna. At least the temperature has fallen somewhat, although it's still quite humid. The weekend was okay - lots of sitting in front of the airconditioner and knitting. And watching dvd's. Naturally. Although we did venture out on Saturday to Penny's,
where I got a 1776 volume of Fordyce's sermons to young ladies. I love this kind of stuff - the attitude and behaviour of the young ladies as prescribed by the church tells you a lot about the church and the way young ladies actually behaved. I am a history nerd. I did my honours degree in Elizabethan history, about female Protestants and their role in penetrating the Catholic northern counties of Yorkshire.

Apparently I have to go to work now.

Good thing for the day: The sky is overcast and gloomy. My favourite.
Bad thing for the day: I'm not out on a wild international yarn shopping spree.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


The yarn. This is a ball of Marta's two ply in purple, and one in Marta's two ply in green.

The shawl so far. It's not a real good picture of it, but the colours are pretty close to this, and you can see the effect of holding the two yarns together.

And now, a meme, blatantly copied from the inestimable Chris:

Seven Things to Do Before I Die
1. Go back to Japan
2. Go back to England
3. A Meet the Bloggers tour of the USA
4. Learn intarsia
5. Learn Japanese
6. Learn Russian
7. Knit more

Seven Things I Cannot Do
1. Tolerate being in the same room as a spider
2. Stop talking to cats I see on television. I know, I'm pathetic
3. Ride a bike. I fall off a lot
4. Draw
5. Paint
6. Listen to Britney Spears for more than two seconds
7. Be less than totally cynical when listening to politicians

Seven Things That Attract Me to Blogging
1. Showing off my cats in the deluded belief that people are as interested in them as I am
2. Meeting new people who also love their cats
3. Talking to people who knit unashamedly
4. Finding out more about other countries/cultures
5. Finding links on people's blogs to cool websites featuring hand painted sock yarn
6. Showing off my tragic photography skills
7. You know. Stuff.

Seven Things I Say Most Often
1. Oh For *(&@#$#'s Sake! (after getting off the phone to clients)
2. Meiko, stop eating that!
3. Ooh, look, a yarn store, let's go in!
4. So, are you gonna make dinner, or what?
5. Hello Tweetie! (To any one of the cats which wanders into my line of sight. Tweetie is a version of Sweetie. I'm a sad sad person)
6. Of course I need more sock yarn!!
7. Let's order pizza.

Seven Books That I Love
1. Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
2. The Blue Castle - L M Montgomery
3. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
4. No Name - Wilkie Collins
5. Ayalah's Angel - Anthony Trollope
6. The Grand Sophy - Georgette Heyer
7. The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley

Seven Movies that I watch Over and Over Again
1. The original Matrix movie. That scene at the beginning where Trinity rises into the air? I fell in love with this movie at that exact moment.
2. Resident Evil. I know, I know, but I like the suspense of the enclosed space thing, and I have a shameful addiction to zombie movies. I have no idea why!
3. Fifth Element. I'm beginning to see a "Chicks Kicking Butt" theme developing here...
4. Serenity. A film with no dead spots. I loved it.
5. Gone With the Wind. I never stop hoping it will end differently.
6. Pirates of the Carribbean. Well, the Johnny Depp parts of it, anway.
7. Underworld. So so pretty.

Good thing for the day: Dave will soon get off his butt and make me Mediterranean Eggs for breakfast.
Bad thing for the day: Dave has not yet gotten off his butt to make Mediterranean Eggs for breakfast.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Lulu In The Window

This cat has never been known to be in anything other than a graceful pose. Even at the vet, she's wary but dignified. She is the feline iron fist in a fluffy velvet glove.

I did lots of knitting yesterday. Because it's a faroese shawl, the long bottom edge is knitted first, so it feels like you're running on the spot and not getting anywhere, but I've now started the lace pattern on the bottom edge so I can at least track progress. Purple and green should be used together more often.

I have to share this with you. It hurt my brain and made me feel dirty for watching it. So I thought I'd share the wrongness:


Sorry, sorry, I just couldn't keep it to myself.

Good thing for the day - going out for brunch shortly. I often crave scrambled eggs in the morning but have a pathological aversion to making my own.

Bad thing for the day: This summer has been brutal, and it's not over yet. I'm exhausted and kind of down at the thought of battling my way through the rest of it!

Friday, January 27, 2006

It's a Sickness, People.

This is Dorian wondering what the hell I'm doing with that bleepy flashing thing when he' s working on a good nap. He's sitting on the top container of my yarn stash - that top container is full of sock yarn. Hello, my name is Kellie, and I have a sock yarn problem. It has been two days since my last purchase. I blame the fool who taught me how to use my credit card.

I am spending the day on the couch, with the portable air conditioner running full blast, watching dvds. And cursing the fact that it is so HOT. Which, of course, has nothing to do with the lap full of wool shawl that I am apparently unable to put down.

At a time like this, it's good to have a packet of these around:

Teddy Bear Crack - oops, I mean Teddy Bear Biscuits.....

Yuck, I'm starting to drip sweat on the keyboard again (yeah, too much information, I know) so I'm off to the couch and that air contitioner.

Good thing for the day: The air conditioner, without which I would be a whimpering heap on the bathroom floor.

Bad thing for the day: I could have sworn I didn't eat that many Teddy Bear Biscuits, but the packet is oddly empty.......

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Life in the Pen

This is Dorian and Lulu in the outside cat run - we live on a main road, so no free-roaming cats for us! They like to sleep in the sun, patrol for any stray cat stupid enough to come within a couple of inches of the wire mesh, and occasionally brain themselves trying to pounce on a bird wandering about unconcernedly two feet beyond the mesh.

You know, it strikes me that Dorian bears a strong resemblance to Crazy Aunt Purl's Bob

Good thing for the day: It's a public holiday. More knitting time.

Bad thing for the day: not being able to work out how to turn off this underlining.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Resistance is Futile

You cannot escape the cuteness. We will assimilate you.

P.S. Send treats.

So, I was thinking I should maybe mention my knitting once in a while. I'm only going to talk about what I'm currently knitting cause the thought of all of my unfinished objects makes me break out in a cold sweat.
Apparently, my brain is trying to kill me. Sweltering hot days, more to come, and instead of going on with me lovely little highly portable sock, I cast on 449 freaking stitches to make a shawl. Yep, a shawl. Just a couple of weeks before I am due to start another shawl for the Harlot's Olympics. No, I don't know what's wrong with me, either. Anyhoo, it's the second Faroese shawl from Folk Shawls, and I'm knitting it with two strands of two-ply from the incomparable Marta's. This woman has an unbelievable way with colour and I have quite a stash of her solids and multicolours - it's like having a painter's palette ready and waiting. For this shawl I'm using one strand of solid purple and another strand of solid green. It's looking gooood. I will take pictures tonight.

In other news, after today I have a four day weekend. Which will be good. Tomorrow will be 40C. Which will be bad. I just do not cope with the heat, it really screws me up. But - airconditioner! Cooold air! Not hoooot air!

Good thing for the day: My new shawl. I am itching to go and keep knitting on it. Which is good, as the rows are currently 449 stitches long. Sigh.

Bad thing for the day: Being totally and utterly weak yesterday afternoon and succumbing to Brooklin Hand Spun's
Monet Sock Yarn. I am such a sucker for hand dyed sock yarn. Budget?? What budget???

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Not Dead Yet

I'm not dead yet. I know you'll be glad to hear that. Last night we managed to get what is apparently the last portable air conditioner available in Melbourne. We paid a lot of money for it, but last night as we sat in front of it for its test run, we both thought "Ohmygodthatwassoworthitpassmeanothergingerbeer". It's going to be 40C again on Thursday. We're planning to pick one room of the house, and stay there with the air conditioner all day.

I have no pictures today! But I will be able to take a whole heap more tonight - I want to be able to prove that Dorian does in fact do something apart from lying around waiting to be cuddled.

One of the joys of living in Melbourne has to be taking the tram through the city at lunchtime. Normally I wouldn't venture out in summer, but I had a bookshop voucher burning a hole in my pocket. And I had a burning need to go to Marta's. But I digress. So I'm standing in the tram hanging on to a strap cause its crowded, when I realise that at least half of the people hanging on to straps around me have apparently never heard of deodorant. Yep, a tram ride surrounded by three or four decidedly whiffy armpits conveniently located at face level. The things I do for yarn. And books.

Speaking of books, I am currently reading yet another of the weird, delicious, and utterly compelling books of Haruki Murakami. I discovered this author when I picked up a copy of Kafka on the Shore (mainly, it has to be said, because it had a big black cat on the cover. I'm such a sucker), and I was hooked in less than ten pages. I loaned it to a friend when I was finished, and her comment on it was that she had "drunk up this book as though it was a glass of water and I was thirsty." His novels are just incredible - I've never read anything like them - go find out for yourselves!

Good thing for the day: the little stripy grey kitten who is currently headbutting my hand and purring ecstatically to indicate just how glad she is that I'm here.

Bad thing for the day: Bushfires. I lived with the fear of bushfires when I was a child (several of my friends were burnt out in the Ash Wednesday Fires), and it always sends a shiver of dread down my spine when I read that it's happening again. My thoughts and sympathy are with those who have had to go through the horrible process of having to flee their homes at almost no warning, and then have to wait and wait and wait to find out whether or not they have anything left except the clothes on their backs. And big kudos to those volunteers who were going back into the danger zones to rescue any animals they could find.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Black Books

Goooood morning all!
This will be a short post, as I have to go to work soon.
Rhelynn, this is a link to a Black Books website so that you can check it out:

Black Books

Good thing for the day: Ummm... that's a tough one this morning! Okay, this is only a three day working week for me.

Bad thing for the day: It's going to get very hot AGAIN over the next few days. Just kill me now.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

And Finally - Meiko and a Meme

This is a terrible picture, but this is our year old kitten Meiko reclining on the mantlepiece. She likes it up there. It gives her maximum opportunity to pounce on unsuspecting cats from a great height. Of course, it does tend to spoil the surprise when she lets loose with a Merrrrrrp just before she pounces. We figure the other two cats must really love her or they'd have killed her by now.

And a meme! Yarnivorous has tagged me! My first meme... Awwww.....

Four jobs you have had in your life:

1) -
Betting data entry person at a racecourse. NEVER again. If I want to get sworn at by drunk people, I have friends who will do it for me...

2) - Answering phones for a company who had mainly shut down over the summer. I had nothing to do except read my book and answer phones three or four times a day.

3) - Team supervisor at Evil Insurance Company - I supervised sixteen people on a daily basis and worked on a multi million dollar project which my boss subsequently got an award for. Nuff said.

4) - Current job - administrator for a state government department regulating training organisations. I like my current job!

Four movies you could watch over and over:

1) -
Resident Evil/Resident Evil Apocalypse. I love me some butt-kicking Mila Jovavich.

2) - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Johnny Depp in velvet. Yum.

3) - Matrix.

4) - Titanic. Kate Winslet...... Sigh.....

Four places you have lived:

1) -
Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia - where I was born.

2) - Clayton, Victoria - my first shared student household. Amazingly, we're all still friends.

3) - East Oakleigh, Victoria

4) - Oakleigh, Victoria

Four TV Shows you love to watch:

1) -

2) - Black Books

3) - Law and Order SVU

4) - Law and Order Criminal Intent

Four Places you have been on vacation:

1) -
USA - California - My mother won a contest and bravely sent me (19) and my sister (17) to San Diego by ourselves for a week.

2) - England - LOVED it. Want desparately to go back.

3) - Italy - Sooo beautiful but sooo polluted!

4) - Japan - with two girlfriends. It was a total blast, and I hope to back there one day.

Four Websites you visit daily:

1) -
The Age

2) - Crazy Aunt Purl

3) - Stumbling Over Chaos

4) - KPixie

Four of your Favourite Foods:

1) -
Sushi (I'm a somewhat lapsed vegetarian)

2) - My own home cooked vegie lasagne. It kicks butt, if I do say so myself.

3) - Fish N Chips

4) - Grapes

Four places you'd rather be right now:

1) -
Somewhere NOT HOT.

2) - In a bookshop.

3) - In a yarn store.

4) - At the beach, which is where I'm going as soon as I finish this post.

Four bloggers I am tagging:

None. I am the last person I know to do this meme.

And part Three.....

This is another photo of Beezel, showing his nice long shiny (and very sharp) claws that he liked to use at every opportunity.

I have signed up for the Knitting Olympics, but I have no idea how to save buttons to my blog yet. The technological ability is awesome, I know. And we should have a team Australia! I'll talk to my friend Yarnivorous and see what we can come up with......

Cause I am Technologically Incompetent

Hi Chris! This is another photo of Lulu, hopefully further demonstrating the fluffiness. Here she is expressing her approval of Dave taking his afternoon nap on the bed, which is where she likes to take her afternoon nap. And she loves company! Dave wasn't game to move his leg away until Lulu indicated she was finished with it.

I am posting these pictures in separate posts cause I can't yet figure out how to space photos down a post instead of having them all pile up at the top.

Dorian Part Two

Hi Rhelynn! This is another photo of Dorian, steadfastly patrolling the perimeter to ward off any stray cats. This photo also belies the fact that when he was a kitten he was terrified of grass and and wouldn't go near it.

Thanks for the comments on my sock! I used some Australian dyes called Landscapes Dyes for Wool by a company called KraftKolour. I was intending to dye this yarn in purple and grey stripes, but of course I poured too much dye onto the skein and all of the colours smooshed together. But I really like the way it has turned out, and I'm enjoying seeing the way the colours knit up!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Cute As the Dickens

The first one here is Dorian - big grey muscly pusscat who rules the roost and definitely does NOT indulge in snuggles. The second is Lulu, otherwise known as the Fluffy Brown Huntress of Doom. Lulu is smarter than all of the other cats put together. Admittedly, that ain't hard. Here she is curled up with our beloved Beezel, who died last year and who we miss A LOT. This photo is remarkable mainly because Beezel is not beating up Lulu. Statistically the odds were low.

Or We Could Try That Again


This is Fun

And another one...


And another test....

Let's see if I can get this link thing working....


This should take you to a still from Underworld 2.


It's too hot. I don't like it. Make it stop.

Good thing for the day: Went to see the second Underworld movie. Mmm.... Kate Beckinsale....

Bad thing for the day: Not having airconditioning in 41C/106F heat blows chunks.

The tat. Posted by Picasa

Sock. This yarn is Knitpicks colour your own, which I did. It's purple and grey. But mostly purple. The pattern is from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush - Yarrow Rib Sock, I think.

First picture posted! Wahoo!

I have a blog. Oops. Still working out how all this works....