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

My Photo
Location: Australia

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A New Crush

I have such a crush on this yarn. I found it at Lincraft - not normally the best source for non-novelty yarns! It's four ply (fingering weight) 100% merino baby wool, and it's unbelievably soft. I've already ripped four projects because they weren't quite right for this yarn!

This morning I am tired and cranky and headachy. I've just remembered something I was supposed to do for today's team meeting. I don't wanna go to work. Damn the siren call of paid employment!

Good thing for the day: Sock Yarn. No matter how bad it gets, there's always sock yarn.
Bad thing for the day: Goddamn mood swings.

Monday, February 27, 2006

I Just Found Sock Yarn Heaven

Chris put me on the track of this German lady. Oh. My. God. DO NOT follow this link if you have trouble controlling the drooling reflex.

The COLOURS!!!! I want almost every single colourway this woman produces!!!

Excuse me while I go lie down for a minute....


This is Gibbering's third cat, Dax - she is also Dorian's and Wumple's sibling. And she's not looking wistful - she's actually keeping a sharp eye out for the evil stray cat that Gibbering has started feeding recently. Dax is (naturally) usually called Dackles and Shmackles. Which she is more than happy to answer to. Especially if there's a lap at the other end of it.

Urgh. I spent hours yesterday fiddling around with yarn and patterns and swatches, but I couldn't find anything that remotely interested me. It was all wrong! Even the Koigu! Things were getting desparate. I tried to cast on for the spiral shawl in a Gathering of Lace, but an hour later I was still struggling and cursing the circular cast-on so I gave up. CIRCULAR CAST ONS ARE EEEEEEVIL. So finally I grabbed some utterly gorgeous baby wool (pics tomorrow) in bright rainbow colours and started a beginner's triangle shawl from a Gathering of Lace. It's working up beautifully, and it's going to be the most lurid shawl I've ever seen. Excellent. Even though I swore I wouldn't start another shawl for at least a week. But then I remembered that Mim's new shawl pattern will be available shortly and I gave up.

Good thing for the day: It's not hot. Thank the gods!
Bad thing for the day: Work now.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sock Yarn!

This is the other thing I got from Kpixie - it's Zen Yarn Gardens Tuxedo Royale (Dark). Yum. I love the combinatino of the pinks and the greys - I'm not usually a pink person, but this stuff is goooood.

And I have been tempted mightily by Chris, who slyly pointed out the new addiction initiative by the Socks That Rock people (or, as I like to call them, the Crack that Rocks people). I caved. Instantly. Interestingly, it turns out that it is possible to pay a PayPal invoice with your eyes almost entirely shut so as to avoid seeing the huge amount you just paid for sock yarn.

And, while we're on the topic, I have noticed an interesting quirk of our Customs service: on the rare occasion (HAH!) that I get yarn from overseas, if the sender marks the contents as 'yarn', it goes straight through to be delivered to me. If the sender marks the contents as 'wool', it gets sent to Customs and they open it and inspect it. Apparently an entire Australian Customs service has no idea that 'yarn' and 'wool' are in fact the same thing.

Good thing for the day: I no longer have to knit the Olympic Shawl.
Bad thing for the day: I now have no idea what to knit. My current projects all seem irretrievably boring, but I can't find a new project that doesn't suck. Oh well, off to the blogs for inspiration!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The blocking table, thoughtfully prepared by Dave, who stayed up all night with me for moral support. This arrangement apparently absolutely enchanted the cats, who equally thoughtfully kept it in place and mouse free until I needed it.

Detail of new hair - purplish and shiny. Think Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka.

And the view of the blocking table when we got up. They REALLY like this new arrangement. The shawl is actually ready to come off the blocking table, but I haven't got the heart to evict them! Hmmm. A new record for most blobs in one knitting picture?

In my post finishing haze, this seemed a fitting reward. I'm thinking of starting a new webring. Sock Yarn Hussies. Or Compulsive Sock Yarn Stashers. Any suggestions? Cause let's face it, I have a problem, and I'd like to feel less like a freak. In the nicest possible way, of course.....

And I know you'll all be deeply disappointed, but there is no way in heck that I am modelling this shawl! I will be gifting it to my friend EC, and I will try to convince her to let me take a phot for y'all. Y'all. A good word. I should use it more often. Look, I've had 1.5 hours sleep, cut me some slack already! More details on the shawl can be found on the Team Midwest blog - click the button on the sidebar!

Good thing for the day: I finished the shawl. It's pretty, I enjoyed it, but I am SO VERY GLAD it's over. And I don't think I can kid myself any more: I am a fairly decent lace knitter. So there.

Bad thing for the day: The 1.5 hours sleep thing.


It is finished. I made it. More pictures, commentary etc later - I stayed up really late to finish it and it is now 5.45am and I am insane cause I have to get up for a hair appointment in less than two hours and I am starting to see little pink elephants dancing on my keyboard.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Freaky Friday

Now, what could this be???

Hmmm... it appears to contain yarn of some sort....

Oh, look! Two skeins of Artyarns Supermerino!

And also there was some gorgeous Zen Yarn Gardens sock yarn from Kpixie - but y'all wouldn't be interested in that, would you?

Well, maybe I'll post that picture tomorrow.... maybe......

WARNING: Todays Freaky Friday link is NOT work safe or kid safe. It requires sound. It requires a strong stomach. It contains FREQUENT HIGH LEVEL COARSE LANGUAGE. You have been warned.

I have bowed to the inevitable. I am taking a half day off work today in order to give myself a fighting chance of finishing this shawl. Twenty two rows left might not sound like much, but each row is now over four hundred stitches. Whimper. And I'm not doing the crochet castoff! I'll sort out my own cast off! So there! BWAHAHAHHAHA!

Oh. Perhaps the pressure is getting to me more than I thought......

Good thing for the day: Chris is sending me a package containing weird stuff she's never seen before. Excellent!!!
Bad thing for the day: It's going to be HOT today. So why the HELL am I leaving my airconditioned office in the hottest part of the day to go home and knit on a lapful of wool???? I swear, I deserve an extra medal for this.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Books! Meme!

Meme instructions: Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you might read, cross out the ones you won't, underline the ones on your book shelf, and place parentheses around the ones you've never even heard of.

The DaVinci Code - Dan Brown - on shelf
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling - on shelf
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien - on shelf
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - on shelf
1984 - George Orwell - on shelf
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling - on shelf
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - shelf
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson - on shelf
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis - on shelf
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
(Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell)
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien - on shelf
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - on shelf
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman - on shelf
(Atonement - Ian McEwan)
(The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood - on shelf
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert - on shelf


I am now up to row 220-something on the shawl. Yarnivorous has pointed out that one reason why this Olympic challenge is so tough is project monogamy. Sticking to one project through thick and thin, till blocking do us part - it ain't natural! I find myself hankering after new and exciting projects, and I swear my new Koigu is flirting with me.....

Short post today. I was late to work yesterday because I refused to leave until I had finished my blog entry. I've got my priorities straight!

Good thing for the day: Fruit Tingles.
Bad thing for the day: I found my very first grey hair the other day. I AM ONLY 32!! I have made an appointment with my hairdresser first thing Saturday morning to ensure that noone else will ever know. Except you guys, obviously.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

In Which No Yarn Sucking Takes Place

This may look like a sweet greeting between two of my kitties. Actually, it's Lulu simultaneously reminding Meiko who's dominant and reiterating the nightly "get between me and the food dish and I'll clobber you until your ears ring" statement.

I had to tink an entire row full of yarnovers and knit three togethers last night. Apparently, checking the pattern three times is not protection against rampant idiocy and losing the ability to count up to three. However, I did make some progress, which is good, as when I was estimating how much I had to do each day I forgot to take into account the freaking edge charts. Much sulking ensued.

Poor Dave apologised last night for trying to kiss me while I was knitting lace. I was a bit..... focussed.... at the time, and may have overreacted a tad when he got between me and the chart. Then he went and cooked a lovely dinner. He takes his Olympic Support duties seriously.

And Chris: I have occasionally been compared to Tigger, but I always identified more with Eeyore. I tried to read The Dao of Pooh and the De of Piglet once, but I got really pissy when the author present Pooh as the epitome of Daoism and proceeded to trash all of the other characters. Nobody disses my Eeyore!

Random Fact: I collect odd stuffed toys. I have an Edward Gorey cat, a baby knitted Cthulu (courtesy of Purplexity) a Beanie Baby crab, a teddy bear dressed as a Cistercian monk (I kind of lost my head in a Ye Olde Gifte Shoppe at a ruined abbey in Yorkshire), a lobster, a giant ant (It's about a foot long. I bought it at Ikea.) , a ferret (I bought this in Japan. So cool.), a bat, a smaller bat which squeaks when you press its belly (also bought in Japan), and a scowling raven. So far.

Good thing for the day: I won a contest on Chris' blog!!! Wooooo!!!
Bad thing for the day: We got our car back from its 100000km service. $1800. OUCH.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

At Least Someone's Relaxing

Mmm... Detachable human fur....

Shawl is now up to row 190-something. I may need a shoulder reconstruction at the end of this, but By G*d I will Finish This Thing. For a progress photo, you'll have to wander over to the Team Midwest blog - the button on the sidebar will take you there.

Something I have learned while knitting this shawl:

- When cursing my Addis for having prematurely lost their slick shininess, I should check both the Addis and my hands for residual traces of Cadbury Creme Eggs. Ahem.

I also learned the depths of my self-control last night. We were sitting on the couch, I was knitting, Dave was watching the NBA all-star game. I was concentrating on lace charts. Dave was concentrating on relaying as many basketball stats as he could without drawing breath. "Lebron James...blah blah blah...Rasheed Wallace....blah blah blah....Kobe Bryant...blah blah blah..."

And I DIDN'T turn to him sweetly and say "You know I love you, but for the LOVE OF YARN if you keep spouting basketball at me when I'm trying to knit lace, I will garotte you with my Addi's!"

Good thing for the day: The pimple on my chin has almost gone (hey, you gotta take your good things where you can find them!)
Bad thing for the day: I've run out of Cadbury Creme Eggs.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Resistance is Futile Part II

You know, I'd be even more comfy if you took the lid off this thing and let me sleep in the stash....I wouldn't carry anything off to take under the bed and disembowel....honest......

I spent most of yesterday knitting the Olympic shawl. A couple of tiny mistakes were made, one of which I fixed, one of which you wouldn't know it was there unless you looked for it. And, as we all know, it's incredibly rude to scrutinise a knitter's latest masterpiece quite that closely. At least, I hope it's that rude..... I'm up to row 180-something. A mighty effort for the weekend, but a lot of work ahead of me! More later on how I realised I'd forgotten to figure in blocking/drying time and the amount of unladylike language that generated.

Good thing for the day: I know where I stashed an emergency supply of Cadbury Creme Eggs. Hah!
Bad thing for the day: Is it wrong to seriously contemplate taking a day off work to ensure completion of one's Olympic project?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

In Which Lulu Proves She has Been Reading Chris' Blog

Hey, Chaos was right! This is fun! Knitting sure is good for lying down on, and then you can reach out a paw, extend your claws and watch Mum freak out! Coooool.

This was obviously meant to be a progress shot, but it was proving...difficult.... to get a shot that didn't involve Lulu being draped all over it. But you can see a little of the stitch pattern here. Which is nice. Must. Knit. Faster.

Good thing for the day: Knitting is all You Need.
Bad thing for the day: Didn't get to Marta's. Next time, Mum!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Because I Cannot Resist a List

I snaffled this from And She Knits Too! - I love this kind of thing. How many of these must see movies have you seen?

[ ] Citizen Kane
[X] Casablanca
[X] The Godfather
[X] The Godfather Part 2
[X] Gone with the Wind
[X ] Lawrence of Arabia
[X] The Wizard of Oz
[ ] The Graduate
[ ] On the Waterfront
[X] Schindler's List
[X ] Singing in the Rain
[ X ] Ben-Hur

Total: 9

[ ] Seven Samurai
[X] Magnificent Seven
[X] Three Amigos
[ ] Yojimbo
[X] Fist Full of Dollars
[ ] Last Man Standing
[X] Hidden Fortress
[X] Star Wars
[X] Empire Strikes Back
[X] Return of the Jedi
[ ] Ran
[ ] Dreams
[ ] Rashomon


[X] Psycho
[X] Vertigo
[X] North by Northwest
[X] The Birds
[X] Rear Window
[ ] Dial M for Murder


[ ] Blood Simple
[ ] Raising Arizona

[ ] Millers Crossing
[X] Barton Fink
[ ] Hudsucker Proxy
[X] Fargo
[ ] Big Lebowski
[] O Brother Where Art Thou?


[X] Alien
[X] Blade Runner
[X] Legend
[X] Black Rain
[X] Thelma & Louise
[ ] Black Hawk Down
[X] Gladiator


[X] Time Bandits
[X] Brazil
[X] The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
[X] The Fisher King
[X] Twelve Monkeys
[X] Seven
[X] Fight Club
[ ] Primal Fear
[ ] American History


[X] Spartacus
[ ] Lolita
[X] Dr. Strangelove
[ ] Point for knowing the full title of Dr. Strangelove
(I know it. I can't tell YOU, though. That would be cheating.)
[X] 2001: A Space Odyssey
[X] Clockwork Orange
[X] The Shining
[X] Full Metal Jacket


[ ] The Pianist
[ X] Rosemary's Baby
[X] China Town
[X ] Easy Rider
[X ] One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest*


[X] Unforgiven
[X] The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
[ ] The Searchers
[] Rio Bravo
[] Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
[] Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) (so very bad)


[X] Halloween
[X] Nightmare on Elm Street
[X] Friday the 13th
[] Chainsaw Massacre
[X] The Exorcist
[X] Silence of the Lambs


[] Pee-wee's Big Adventure
[X] Beetle Juice
[X] Batman
[X] Edward Scissor Hands
[X] Ed Wood
[X] Mars Attacks!


[X] Reservoir Dogs
[X] Pulp Fiction
[X] Kill Bill: Vol 1
[X ] Kill Bill: Vol 2
[X] Sin City
[ ] Four Rooms
] From Dusk Till Dawn
[X] Desperado
[] El Mariachi


[ ] Gates of Heaven
[ ] Vernon, Florida
[] The Thin Blue Line
[ ] Fast, Cheap & Out of Control
[] Mr. Death
[] The Fog of War


[X] LOTR: The Fellowship of the Rings*
[X] LOTR: The Two Towers*
[X] LOTR: Return of the King*
[ ] Forgotten Silver
[X] Heavenly Creatures
[] Braindead aka Dead Alive
[X ] Meet the Feebles
[ ] Bad Taste


[X] King Kong (1933)
[] King Kong (1976)
[ ] King Kong (2005)


[X] The Sixth Sense
[X] Unbreakable
[] Signs
[X] The Village


[] Pi
[X] Requiem for a Dream
[X] Memento
[X] Insomnia
[X] Batman Begins
[ ] Following
[X] The Virgin Suicides
[] Lost in Translation
[X] Being John Malkovich
[] Adaptation
[X] Eternal Sunshine or the Spotless Mind


[X] Better Off Dead
[X] Sixteen Candles
[X] The Breakfast Club
[X] Weird Science
[X] Ferris Beuller's Day Off
[] Planes, Trains & Automobiles
[X] The Goonies
[X] Stand by Me


[X] The Shawshank Redemption
[] The Green Mile


[X] Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
[X] Princess Bride
[X] This is Spinal Tap
[] The Jerk
[X] Ghost Busters
[X] Animal House
[X] Blues Brothers
[X] Little Shop of Horrors


[X] Princess Mononoke
[ ] My Neighbor Totoro
[X] Spirited Away
[ ] Howl's Moving Castle
[] Akira
[] Steamboy
[X] Ghost in the Shell


[] Waiting for Guffman
[X] Best in Show
[] A Mighty Wind


[X] Night of the Living Dead
[X] Dawn of the Dead (1978)
[X] Day of the Dead
[ ] Land of the Dead
[X] Shawn of the Dead
[X ] 28 days later


[ ] Bottle Rocket
[] Rushmore
[] Royal Tenenbaums
[] The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
[X] Snatch
[X] Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
[X] Trainspotting
[X] Shallow Grave


[] Delicatessen
[] Amilie
[X] City of Lost Children
[] Run Lola Run
[X] La Femme Nikita*
[X] The Professional
[X] The Fifth Element*


[ ] Mean Streets
[X] Taxi Driver
[] Raging Bull
[X] Last Temptation of Christ
[X] Goodfellas
[X] Casino


[ X] M
[X ] Metropolis
[X] Nosferatu
[] Diabolique
[X] Usual Suspects
[] Double Indemnity
[X] The Third Man
[X] Manchurian Candidate (1962)
[] Cool Hand Luke


[X] Raiders of the Lost Ark
[X] Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
[X] Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
[X] Jurassic Park
[X] Color Purple
[] Saving Private Ryan
[X] E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
[X] Jaws


[X] Die Hard
[X] Lethal Weapon
[X] Mad Max
[X] The Road Warrior
[X] Braveheart
[ ] Man Without a Face
[ ] Passion of the Christ


GRAND TOTAL: 134 out of 205


This is Gibbering's second cat Wumples. When she was a kitten she was an indeterminate grey colour with a big orange patch on her head, and we thought she was a boy, so Gibbering called her Jack the Pumpkin King after the character from the Nightmare Before Christmas. When it became obvious that she was a tortoiseshell and therefore a girl, she became Pumpkin. Which (obviously) became Pumples, Dumples and Wumples. Occasionally Wumplestiltskin. But let's not go there. Wumples has the sweetest, roundest little face, and watching her try and stuff herself into a shoebox half her size just never gets old. Interesting fact: Wumples is Dorian's sister - Gibbering took me with her to look at a litter of kittens a friend's cat had just given birth to, and she picked out a kitten (Dackles, another sibling and a story for another day). Then she spotted a second one which she also fell in love with, and told me that if I took a kitten she'd take two. Like I needed much persuasion. So we got Dorian. And I almost got divorced for coming home and telling Dave that I'd agreed to take a kitten without discussing it with him. Of course, when the time came, Dave fell in love with Dorian in under three seconds, which was so obviously going to happen I wondered why he bothered with the getting cranky part in the first place.

But I digress.

The shawl continues apace, although I am beginning to get more than a little stressed about finishing it in time. I should have most of this weekend cleared for knitting, though.....what I need is a CSI marathon or something. I knit better with stuff on the tv in the background, and I love watching whole seasons of tv shows at a time. I think it must be the control freak in me - if I have a box set of a show I like, I know where the next hit (oops, episode) is coming from.

I am heading out to brunch this morning with Emily (Hi, Emily!) so that we can catch up, tell obscene jokes, eat too much and talk about how adorable her almost-four-months-old baby boy is. I'm an auntie, and the kid has already correctly labelled me as a sucker who is wrapped comfortably around his pudgy little fist. Boy will I have some stories to tell at his 21st birthday party!

And I may even get the opportunity today to go and buy my Mum a present. She hates it when I buy her presents cause she thinks I should spend the money on myself. But I think this blog is sufficient photographic evidence that I do indeed spend money on myself. Quite a lot of money, really! Mum has recently rediscovered her lifelong love of knitting, and was absolutely gobsmacked when I took her to Marta's in Caulfield to look around. She wants to knit a couple of shawls from a book I have, so as she lives up in the country, I thought I'd buy her some hand dyed Marta's yarn and an Addi Turbo or two and send them up to her. The best thing about this? I know she reads this blog (Hi Mum!) and she has already expressly forbidden me to do any such thing. Interesting tactic, considering I take being forbidden by Mum as a powerful motive to go and do whatever it is anyway. So, I'm betting I'll be out the door with Emily before Mum reads this and phones me, and Mum will be sitting in front of her computer (she's an internet junkie) saying "Wicked Child!" which is what she says when I've been cheeky. To which I always reply "Well, you brought me up!"

To be on the safe side, perhaps I ought to take the phone off the hook.....

Good thing for the day: Brunch with Emily
Bad thing for the day: Having to repress the urge to yell "Oh for FUCK'S sake!" whenever I hear about our glorious nation's persistent political cowardice.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Freaky Friday and a Guest Star

This is Angus. Angus belongs to Gibbering. Angus was born in a ute in Dingley. For those not in the Melbourne area, this is roughly equivalent to being born in a trailer park. Angus is a dear, sweet affectionate kitty with a coordination problem. Angus thinks that just because jumping onto the cat bed means you smack your head into the wall the first 123 times, that is no reason whatsoever to stop doing it. And a big hand for our first guest star!!!

My Freaky Friday contribution this week is a must if you have ever been or ever dated a gamer. This is priceless and oh so true.

I was going to settle in last night and knit more on the Olympic shawl, but it was the regular Thursday Night Crafties Group at my place, and Yarnivorous brought along her brand new ball winder.... I spent pretty much the entire evening winding skeins of yarn and squeaking with delight. Strangely, not everyone was as amused as I was..... But it was so much fun! And so quick! And so neat! Oh yeah, I live the wild life, baby!

I'd just like to say here that I am LOVING my blog. I am enjoying meeting new people, reading other people's blogs, and sharing freaky internet stuff with y'all. :)

Good thing for the day: No social plans tonight - a whole evening knitting the shawl! Wooo! See previous comment regarding the Wild Life I Lead.
Bad thing for the day: Not being able to hug bloggers who are having a rough time.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Kimono P*rn

I have a thing for Kimonos. And this one is the most exquisite I've ever seen.

My Preciousssss

As promised - pictures of my Valentine's Day haul - four skeins of the top picture, two of the bottom. The pictures aren't great, but this was as close as I could get for the colour. Any suggestions as to what I should do with all of this loveliness?

Also, my Vesper Sock Yarn arrived last night. The note said it was the first Vesper ever shipped to Australia! So now myself and Lynne can feel smug. But poor.

I was good last night and instead of rifling through our cheese purchases I sat and did another six rows on the shawl. Which feels like a lot, but I'm gonna have to do more than that to beat this deadline! Did I mention we also bought a jar of sour cherry relish to go with the cheese? Drat, just made myself hungry again.

And I went to the gym last night. I got all excited cause I can actually see a tiny bit of muscle definition in my upper arms. However, I did manage to embarrass myself TWICE with a stupid shoulder press machine. Stupid collapsible bench thingies. But I don't feel so bad when that happens in the women's only room of the gym.

And a somewhat philosophical pondering: When I comment on other people's blogs, I tend to reveal things that I would not write on my own blog. I usually write these things when I'm feeling huge sympathy for the blogger - my impulse is to share my own experiences in order to try and make them feel better, or at least to offer some support from someone who's been there. Now, this is still information that I'm posting on the web in one form or another - people read comments on other blogs, and they can then follow the link back here with one easy click. So why not write about these things on my blog? Has anyone else experienced this?

Good thing for the day: Visible proof that I have muscle as well as... um.... 'curves'.
Bad thing for the day: Not being able to smack this lady upside the head.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Attack of the Camera Cord

No, look, I'm telling you, it's a dangly thing and must be subdued. No, hold still!

No photos of my precioussss today - I forgot the photos were on another computer. Oops.

Our Valentine's lunch was lovely, but the real star of the show was the cheese room. The restaurant has a humidity controlled room where they store and sell their cheese. They let us taste some. Oh. My. God. I tasted four cheeses, and every single one was the best thing I have tasted in my entire life. I tasted a Taleggio, which made me whimper with delight and made Dave bend his rules on eating cheese made with animal rennet. We tasted an Italian Peccorino which had been sitting there aging since December 2003 - I didn't bother to ask the price. I gestured frantically at it and the nice lady understood and and cut us off a big piece. We also bought some glorious English cheddar, some washed rind goat cheese, and a piece of genuine French Roquefort. Sigh. Dave says it's okay because we only spent slightly more on the lunch than we did in the cheese room afterwards. People at work thought we were strange because I was thrilled Dave bought me stinky cheese instead of flowers!

Good thing for the day: House is on TV tonight.
Bad thing for the day: We have to save the Cheese for a special occasion.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Luscious Colours

This is my latest acquisition from TheyarnpusherformerlyknowasBrooklynHandSpun - in the colourway Nemo. Isn't it beeyoootiful?? The photo is a little blurry, but this was the best shot I got of the colours. This skein doesn't actually want to be socks, I think - any suggestions?

My hips now have a blogstalker all their own. Check out yesterday's comments - Hi Obi Wan whoever you are! No Creme Eggs today, but Dave is taking me and my hips out for a swanky Valentine's Day lunch here - I think they'll find it an acceptable substitute. And no wrappers!!

The Olympic shawl continues - I have the hang of how the pattern is constructed now, and apart from two teeny errors which were easily fixed and nobody will ever know they're there, I promise, I'm sailing through this!

On a more serious note, I got into work yesterday and one of my teammates was just back from holidays. I asked her how her holidays were, and she burst into tears - her sister passed away two weeks ago - she had cancer. It wasn't unexpected, she'd been fighting it for over a year, but there's really nothing you can say in that situation! I settled for giving her heartfelt condolences, and intercepting other team members to let them know not to all go bouncing up to her demanding to know how her holidays were!

And, to prove just how short my attention span is - OOOOH! Dave just gave me my Valentine's Day present - SIX skeins of Koigu!! We don't get Koigu in Australia, I fell in love with these two colourways on a website, and Dave offered to buy them for me. Photos tomorrow! But for now I'll just sit here and caress my preciousssss Koigu.....

Good thing for the day: Did I mention I just got Koigu??
Bad thing for the day: I can't take my precioussss to work with me. They frown on yarn fondling while at your desk.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Monday Morning

This is Dorian trying to pretend he's a mysterious Russian Blue in a Parisian nightclub rather than a slightly pudgy moggy in the laundry.

I have an Olympics team! I am now part of Team Midwest. Shaddup. My heart is in the Midwest and that's all that matters. Besides, the button is way cute.

The shawl continues well - the Fiddlesticks lace charts are the best I've ever encountered - the charts are big, and very easy to read. I will definitely be buying their patterns again. That said, their charts are still no match for a determined cat sitting on them in order to get your attention at least for a little while. I can't knit the shawl at work, so I'm limited to evenings this week. Dave has been notified.

I went to the gym again yesterday and did a good workout - an iPod is essential for this. You're not so worried about the time you've got left on the treadmill if you have Marilyn Manson interspersed with Enya blasting your eardrums. I have eclectic musical tastes. My iPod has opera, industrial, pop, rock, and some comedy. I'm posting from work, so I'd better skedaddle - the boss has just arrived.

Good thing for the day: I like my job. I don't mind Mondays nearly as much as I used to.
Bad thing for the day: I forgot to buy any Cadbury Creme Eggs when we were grocery shopping yesterday. Bugger.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Day One Progress

Chart one and almost all of chart two of the Peacock Feathers Shawl done. But I have a question for you guys: the yarn is very very pretty, but I'm worried about the colour changes obscuring the pattern. Of course, this is the very top of the shawl, and it might sort itself out when I get to the larger pattern pieces - what do you think? It would hurt, but it's not too late to rip.

And I completely failed to join an Olympics team, so I've made up one of my own:

Team Independent: Embrace the Lameness.

Good thing for the day: A free afternon of knitting ahead of me.
Bad thing for the day: A sneaking suspicion that feeling smug about going to the gym three times this week ain't gonna fly if I keep consuming Cadbury Creme Eggs at this rate......

Friday, February 10, 2006

Olympics Day One

I have cast on. I have finished the first chart on the Peacock Feathers Shawl. I am resisting the urge to think "This will be a doddle!". I have learned something important: It is physically impossible to unwrap a Cadbury Creme Egg while knitting.

Question: How do I go about joining a team? Have I left it too late?

In Which Chris Has a Lot to Answer For

This is ALL Chris's fault. Just remember that before you follow this link.

Freaky Friday

This is Meiko dashing in to say hello - I often peer out the window to see how they're doing in the cat run, or to see if there are randomly any stray cats around that I could pat/feed/adopt - as soon as Meiko sees my face in the window, she comes pelting inside, merrp-ing and chirruping to say hello. So sweet!

I got some yarn delivered last night, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow for photos - I was too tired when I got home to do anything but slump in front of the computer for a while and go to bed. I was tired because I ducked out from work yesterday morning to buy Dave's Valentine's Day present - a book on saxophone technique he's been wanting. One store in the city had it and they were holding it for me, so off I went. The second I stepped out the door, it started bucketing rain. And of course I have no umbrella, because that would be organised. And therefore wrong. So within a minute I'm absolutely soaked to the skin. But I kept going. At one point a gentleman took pity on me waiting at the lights, and insisted on sharing his umbrella with me until we went different ways. Excellent - the knowledge that you look so pathetic that strangers take pity on you. So good for the self esteem. I got the book and splashed my way back to the office. Dave has promised to love the present on the understanding that if he doesn't I get to shove it up his nose.

And in the interests of it being Freaky Friday, check out this link - although it's more funny than freaky. But it's freaky in its own special way.....

Good thing for the day: It's Friday.
Bad thing for the day: Holy Shit the Knitting Olympics Start TODAY!!!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

A Cat Picture For No Reason

Dorian's determined to catch that black miscreant if he comes near our garden beds again..... He was very worked up after that incident, and made the mistake of trying to bully Lulu. She smacked him with her awesome right hook, boxed his ears and chased him out of the room. Normally he wouldn't try this with Lulu, having previous experience with the aforesaid right hook, and as long as he doesn't actually challenge her he can keep kidding himself that he's the dominant one. Yeah, right.

In knitting news: I did something last night that I have never done before - I swatched. Yes, I am so serious about this whole Knitting Olympics thing that I carefully wound my yarn (and doesn't a big skein of laceweight take a heckuva long time???), swatched, and got a near-enough gauge. I figure it's a shawl - gauge doesn't need to be spot on, and there's always the magic of blocking. This is going to be a challenge - I've never knit a laceweight shawl before, and this pattern is a complex one!

Good thing for the day: I'm sending a package to the UK!
Bad thing for the day: There isn't one.... yet.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Lulu the Catnip Kitty

This is Lulu after an extend bout with her new catnip mouse, perching on an upturned mattress.
"I am NOT high!"

"Make the pretty lights flash again!"

The Stash

Yep, I have a problem. Lynne's theory is that I'm trying to collect an example of every sock yarn in the world. She may be right. Let's see, what have we got here? Some HollySpring Homespun, some SweetGeorgia, some Socks That Rock, some Fybrespates, some Lorna's Laces,
some Brooklyn Handspun, some NoNo Kitty, there's some Claudia's Handpainted in there somewhere, some Artyarns Ultramerino, some Trekking XXL, and I can't even remember the rest. And this is without the Vesper and some more Brooklyn Handspun which is on its way..... Hi, my name is Kellie, and it's been four days since I last bought sock yarn......Pretty, pretty!

Ow. I went to the gym last night. My triceps want to go and live on my butt so that I can't hurt them any more.

Poor Dorian had a rough evening yesterday - he was in his usual spot in the loungeroom window, peering alertly through the flywire screen at the front yard, when suddenly we hear this rustling sound and he presses himself up against the screen as though he's about to go through it. We went to investigate, and there's a big fluffy black cat taking a dump in our garden bed. Six feet away. Positioned so he could watch Dorian while he did it. I thought poor Dorian was going to foam at the mouth with rage and indignation! I think that was the feline equivalent of giving someone the finger, actually.....

Good thing for the day: I finished my first purple home dyed sock and started number two. I thought that sock was going to beat me, but I won! Is it normal to refer to your knitting as though it was a battle of wits?
Bad thing for the day: I have to go to work now. Ick.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

No Photos

No photos. Apparently Blogger doesn't love me any more. Sniff.

So, you'll have to wait until tomorrow for the Amazing Sock Yarn Stash.

So, nothing like a mention of books being got rid of to bring certain people out of the woodwork!
It's now two full boxes of books and I've started on another. Lots of books! And you know, there's an Edward Gorey in there if someone made it worth my while to remember which box it's in.....

Good thing for the day: I've found a swappy person for my Noro! Thanks for all the suggestions, but I've really been put off this yarn, and I'm happy to send it to a good home.

Bad thing for the day: Not being able to put up my sock yarn photos. Humph.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Noro, Anyone?

I did a major stash reorganisation and frogging of UFO's (other wise known as What The Hell Was I Thinking, I'll Never Finish This!) on the weekend. I chucked out half of a project cause there was no way I could even contemplate trying to frog it, and I returned three projects to the skeins from whence they came. I bought some more storage, and now my yarn corner no longer looks as though someone stirred it with a big stick. The upshot of all this blather is that I now find myself with some surplus yarn. Nine (Count 'em! Nine!) skeins of Noro Kureyon that I have been forced to admit I will never use. I love the colours, but it's never gonna happen. So, I was wondering - is anyone interested in swapping for these? The colour in the photo is pretty accurate, btw. Leave comments! Email me at purple6 at optushome dot com dot au!

I also managed to cram all of my sock yarn into one container. I took a photo - tomorrow, you shall see the frightening amount of sock yarn I own. No, no, I take it back, sock yarn could never be frightening. Don't tell it I said that.

I also bought a book on Knitting techniques so that I have access to a stitch library. With a voucher, so I didn't actually spend realy money. And I bought the Harlot's book, which I have annoyed Dave with by laughing out loud and insisting on reading him bits of.

We also started going through boxes of books and junk to try and clear a usable space in the room I use as my library. I am culling a large number of books, and we are getting rid of a whole lot of junk. So much of it is stuff we have for the sake of having stuff, and we don't want it cluttering us up any more. The cats were totally entranced - they aren't allowed into that room alone since I discovered Meiko had been sharpening her claws on one of the cardboard boxes. She'd worked her way through the cardboard and saw no reason to stop there - hence a box full of original Enid Blyton books with shredded spines. Ouch.

Good thing for the day: I may soon have room in my library for a spinning wheel!
Bad thing for the day: I may soon have room in my library for a spinning wheel!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Quick Update

Hand is okay - I'm on antibiotics, and if it doesn't start clearing up in a couple of days I have to have an xray to make sure none of the metal pointy thing came off in the wound. Ewww!


No photos today, so I'm going to distract you with one of my favourite cartoons....

This blog entry would go a lot smoother if it wasn't for one cat on my lap, one cat apparently intent on knocking over my speakers, and the other one bouncing back and forth to see what all the noise is about.

Thanks for all the enquiries about my hand - I'm off to the doctor's this morning. I'm assuming it will just need antibiotics or something, but I'm still a bit annoyed at myself for letting it get this far.

Now cat number two is gazing in satisfaction at the knocked-over speaker and looking around for more fun. Sigh.

I finished another square for my "Ridiculously Indulgent Soft 'n Squooshy Afghan" prject last night. I'm knitting squares in different patterns from my stash of ArtYarns Supermerino - lord only knows what I'm going to do when that runs out, cause my budget is currently hiding under the couch and smacking anyone who goes near it. Never mind, it's the kind of project where I can add to it a bit at a time. Anyone know of a good online stitch pattern site?

Good thing for the day: it's gloomy and overcast, which provides an appropriate backdrop for skulking.
Bad thing for the day: Not actually having anything to skulk about.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Meiko Reclines

Woooo! This gets me even more attention! This is even better than the time I tried to climb into the printer to see where the paper was coming from!

Meiko also likes to smack her paws at the little moving figures when Dave is playing computer games. And she knows the "AArrrrgh" noises Dave makes when she does it means he's appreciating her help.

I got my delivery of Socks That Rock the other night - will try and get pictures tonight! I don't usually have this much yarn being delivered - this is stuff which I have ordered over the last two months and it's all turned up in one week. I won't even mention the new yarn I just ordered - Brooklyn Hand Spun has just updated her shop again. I was helpless. Just don't tell my credit card, for heaven's sake.

Good thing for the day: it's Friday and we have NO social commitments this weekend! Yay, relaxing time!
Bad thing for the day: I accidentally stabbed myself in the hand with a sharp metal pointy thing at work the other day and it's now gotten really infected and Dave is saying I Told You So.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Thursday Meiko

This is Meiko thoughtfully trying to obscure the results of the last Boston Celtics game so as not to upset Dave again. She's so caring like that.

Just a short post today: I have nothing in the house that I can take to work for lunch, so I have to go be inventive.....

Good thing for the day: My sister is now reading my blog: Hi Caitlin!!!!
Bad thing for the day: Prime Minister John Howard has not yet been stricken with a mysterious virus that makes him tell the truth for a change.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Yarn P*rn

This is Holly Spring Homespun in Envy, I think is the colour - superwash merino.

Artyarns Supermerino - this one is my favourite.

More Artyarns Supermerino - rose and sage.

Ahem - more Artyarns Supermerino, purple and gold.

All piled up in a luscious heap...

And finally, Holly Spring Homespun superwash Merino in Tequila Sunrise.

I have been waiting for this shipment for a loooong time - it was posted from the US TWO MONTHS ago! I can only assume that the US and Australian Customs services were competing to see who could hold it up the longest. This luscious shipment was purchased from the very fanciable Holly Spring Homespun - and, you know, they had SOCK YARN. I was helpless, I tell you. I am having nebulous plans for a blissfully soft stole/wrap thingy for myself with all this, but I'm having trouble finding a good pattern. In the meantime, I'll just keep it plain view where I can fondle it several times a day.

Thanks so much for the comments on the Seraphim shawl - my colleague loved it, got teary eyed, and so did I! Apparently her mother used to knit a lot, so this means a lot to her! She says it will be perfect for during chemo cause the stuff they inject is chilled (shudder), so it will be nice to have something warm and soft and pretty to wrap around herself. I really feel like I did the right thing with this gift!

Oh, and I learned something new about my office environment - apparently yelling "AAAARGGH" after getting off the phone from a client is unsettling to those around me. Who knew? :)

I feel like I should comment on world affairs or something here. Or maybe I can just relate my favourite anecdote about Errol Flynn - apparently he was banned from having alcohol on the set when he was shooting films, so he would smuggle it in by injecting vodka into oranges. His inventiveness amazed me.

Good thing for the day: Fooling you all into following this link - I've seen some strange things on the web, but this made my jaw drop.
Bad thing for the day: Having to go to work when I want to research interesting patterns for fooling around with my Artyarns cushiony softness.