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Name: knitabulous
Location: Mt Keira, New South Wales, Australia

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Knitting Alone
Knitspot Morning Glory Wrap Frost Flowers and Leaves Pomatomus Socks One Day
Sarcelle A different Phildar swing jacket - No 23A Donyale Socks

Big night in the Daly house

30 Apr 2005

It is a big night in the Daly house last tonight.

Goes like this:

Went to stitch and bitch at 3pm (go you good girls!), came home to find both offspring gone to nonna's for a sleepover. Yay! Now comes the sad bit. Take the opportunity to have an uninterrupted massive cleanout of everyone's wardrobe. Fill three huge garbage bags with unwanted summer clothing. Oh, and clean some windows. Curse this huge house with too many windows, what was I thinking when I convinced Alan to move to Chateux le huge mortgage??

Order take-away Indian, (can't usually do this as children won't eat it). Try to teach self Continental knitting (again)while Alan drives to pick it up, dropping the unwanted clothing in the charity bin on the way. Three rows of twisted stitches, ruined guage, almost chew tongue off and grind teeth to the gums.

Enjoy Indian meal. Drink 3 Austrian (yes Austrian not Australian) blonde beers. Reminisce about halcyon days BC (b4 children) when I was working as a barmaid in riverside London pub.

"Excuse me barmaid, but my mate wants to know if they're really all yours" - oh puleeze, did I spend six years at university to listen to this crap?

Q (punter): "Excuse me barmaid but do you know what time this pub closes?" A (me, with one eyebrow raised): "Yair I do, who's next?".

and my alltime favourite...Very very scary local drug dealer who allegedly had just gotten out of jail and was celebrating by having an all-day bender with equally scary mates.."oi barmaid, there's sumfin funny in my pint" He hands me half empty pint of guinness - like his twentieth or something, I hold it up to look in it and he has removed his GLASS EYE!!!! and put it in the bottom of the glass. I almost crap myself. He and his goon mates find it hysterical of course. I kid you not - this actually happened to me.

Return to continental knitting. Realise that the Austrian beer is making me a supreme continental knitter. Get so excited that I knit a full inch past the pattern change. Rip it all back and return to slow old fashioned method.

Gorgeous husband is in the basement (going to be a kids den) painting the walls singing along to REM's "nightswimming" at the top of his voice.

So all's well here - what are you guys up to?

29 Apr 2005

Pfft. Plink plink plink plink. Plink. Aaahh.

Friday night. Wine night. Tonight it's Fishbone, a Western Australian Cabernet Shiraz. John Rocha for Wedgewood crystal glass. No, let's be serious - it's more of a crystal bucket. Heaven.

I have survived the first week of school. I don't actually go to school, but I do take the firstborn to school every day. He's six. I struggle with the notion of him going to a private school (so elitist), but thanks to the bad reputation the NSW Teachers Federation have given the state school system I am afraid to send him to the local (free) public school. The Teacher's Federation complain of under-resourcing, low literacy rates, bullying et. al. and are so left wing they refuse to allow any singular religious symbolism or celebration of any event which may disenfranchise a minority group. For example, there is no Mother's Day or Father's day celebrations (what of the children with no mothers, or no fathers, or two mothers or two fathers?), nativities are banned at Christmas (what of the Muslims and the Buddhists?). So, afraid he might not learn to read at the local state school I send him to the local Catholic school where he is bullied, class sizes are astronomical, his literacy leaves something to be desired and I can't squeeze in past the perfect blowdried Mercedes M class driving desperate housewives chattering away about property prices to get him to class on time. Plus I am always late.

Shame my camera is kaput as I have much to share. The Wool Peddler sent me the silk/wool - the same stuff for which the Clapotis is made. I see now what the fuss is about. It was dyed especially for me, and wait there's more, because I waited a few weeks for the delivery she sent me two hanks of sari silk gratis. I can not speak more highly of this mob.

I revealed myself to my secret pal. Now I can post comments on her blog which I have wanted to do for some time now. She's Emily and you can find her here.

I received a gift from my secret pal. It was a hank of handspun natural wool and some kool aid. I have not taken pictures of it before but have already dyed it and it looks great!

Jacqueline who hosted sp4 (great job too J) sent me some kool aid as well. I must admit we did drink some. The kids were obsessed. They LOVED it!!! But even if this stuff were available in Australia I wouldn't be letting my kids drink it. It stained their tongues, their clothes, it has a ph of around 2.5 and what's with the 1 cup!! of sugar you have to mix with it? Surely it would rot the teeth right out of their little skulls? And BTW, I'm not some mueslii munching hippy who video's her home birth either! (ok I may have cried a bit at this, and I stole the link shamelessly from Glacia's blog)

I said some stupid thing to some people this week that made me sound like a pretentious vain cow. I wish I could take them back because I meant something completely different, it just came out badly. These people are never going to read this blog unfortunately.

Finally, I was in my front yard yesterday and can you believe what I saw in the bushes across the road? A Stripey tiger!!!This crafty chick actually lives across the road - am I lucky or what??

On that note I'm off back to the plonk. Bonsoir mes amis.

Good on yer digger

25 Apr 2005

Today I had to get my son a haircut to go back to school. We showered, had breakfast, I did my hair and makeup, ironed our clothes and hopped into the car and drove the ten minutes it takes to get to the shopping centre. Waiting at an intersection I saw an obviously homeless man in filthy trousers and a very badly fitting crumpled suit jacket. On his lapel were about five military badges with ribbons. He was weaving precariously across the road.

I wound down my window and said to him "Where did you get your badges?" He looked at me like I was an alien, for as you know, the priveleged and sane don't speak to the insane and destitute. He answered me in a defensive tone, a violent glint in his eye. "Vietnam".

On any other day I wouldn't have batted an eyelid at this man. On any other day I would have locked the car doors and looked the other way. But not this day. Because today is his day, and even though he is probably dead drunk in the street by now, or just plain dead, today is the day that we must acknowledge his contribution to our country, our culture and we also must acknowledge that he may have sacrificed his sanity for the lifestyle I enjoy today. He would have been conscripted of course, so it was not his choice to go to war. So today I said to the homeless destitute man

"Good on yer, digger".

Because today is ANZAC day.

And even though I believe war is stupid and pointless and countries go into war for the wrong reasons and politicians are corrupt and greedy - I am ashamed that we as a society cannot look after our ex-servicemen (and women) better, and offer them a better mental health service.

On TV we show the parade, the dawn service at Gallipoli, the children and grandchildren marching in the places of their dead relatives, but it was the homeless man that made my ANZAC experience this year. I hope he had a good one.


Few of the sins of the father are visited upon the son
Hearts have been hard, our hands have been clenched in a fist too long
Our sons will never be soldiers, our daughters will never need guns
These are the years in between
These are the years that were hard fought and won
Contracts torn at the edges, old signatures stained with tears
Seasons of war and peace, these should not be forgotten years

Still it aches like tetanus, it reeks of politics
How many dreams remain? This is a feeling too strong to contain

The hardest years, the darkest years, the roarin' years, the fallen years
These should not be forgotten years
The hardest years, the wildest years, the desperate and divided years
We will remember

Our shoreline was never invaded, our country was never in flames
This is the calm we breathe, this is a feeling too strong to contain
Still it aches like tetanus, it reeks of politics
Signatures stained with tears, who can remember
We've got to remember

Don't know what ANZAC DAY is? Learn if you like.

She's gone

15 Apr 2005

Hello dahlink. Come in. Sit Sit. No, not there dahlink, that's Moet the cat on the ottoman. Pull that curtain across, and come into my parlour. Let me move some of this flotsam out of the way. Yes, dahlink, that's a crystal ball you see there on the table. I beg your pardon? Oh, of course I vill, later.

Vot did you say? Oh the haze, they're my joss sticks dahlink. They add to the atmosphere. And vith a reading like yours we'll be needing some fine atmosphere. Vould you like some apple tea? I agree it does smell like cognac, but it's tea I tell you, tea. Put your feet up. Let me pour you some. See? Don't you feel nice and vorm now?

Yes I see you are suprised to find me here. You're probably looking for her. No, she's not here, she's gone to Surfers Paradise. Took those offspring and the husband for a little holiday. Left me here all alone as usual. Who am I? I'm her evil twin - Stolichnya. I'm a psychic.

She did vont me to tell you a few things - and if there's one thing they say about Stolychnya it is that she always gets a good result. So if I must I must. She had a haircut. Thank heaven I said, that regrowth was an embarrassment to the family. Someone was going to race V8 supercars down her off centre part if it kept up. She's let herself go you know.

She was making a drop stich wrap from the spring knitty from her handpainted laceweight, but she left that here for me to look after. Moet has jumped all over it. She's allergic you know. You vont to see the wrap? Well, there's no accounting for taste. I vill show you.

And she vonted me to tell you that she is making more socks. I tell her, "it's not the vor time dahlink you know, there is no need for such frugality", but she does not listen. Maybe you can talk some sense into her. Vot was that my dear? You vont to see the socks? Are you sure? Because you don't have to be polite on my account, you have no idea vot it is like for me living in her shadow. Me, a vorld renowned clairvoyant left here amongst all this yarn and sharp sticks. It is very very bad feng shui you know dahlink. What was I saying? Oh yes, the socks. She did a swatch this time. It didn't help, it is still too big.

But come now, enough of her. She's not here. We're all alone. Have some more apple tea. I will gaze into my crystal ball for you. No charge, dahlink, we're friends. I see a journey, through the sky to a deserted beach, a handsome dark stranger. Vealth beyond your vildest imagination. Vorld peace. No starvink children. Oh my, you are a special one.

She vill return, of course. About a veek. But do drop by again for another reading dahlink. Or some apple tea.

internet quiz day

13 Apr 2005

It 's comforting to say that 'practice makes perfect'....
You are 'Gregg shorthand'. Originally designed to
enable people to write faster, it is also very
useful for writing things which one does not
want other people to read, inasmuch as almost
no one knows shorthand any more.

You know how important it is to do things
efficiently and on time. You also value your
privacy, and (unlike some people) you do not
pretend to be friends with just everyone; that
would be ridiculous. When you do make friends,
you take them seriously, and faithfully keep
what they confide in you to yourself.
Unfortunately, the work which you do (which is
very important, of course) sometimes keeps you
away from social activities, and you are often
lonely. Your problem is that Gregg shorthand
has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Finally some sense - stick to bottled water! As if.

You're Love in the Time of Cholera!

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Like Odysseus in a work of Homer, you demonstrate undying loyalty by
sleeping with as many people as you possibly can. But in your heart you never give
consent! This creates a strange quandary of what love really means to you. On the
one hand, you've loved the same person your whole life, but on the other, your actions
barely speak to this fact. Whatever you do, stick to bottled water. The other stuff
could get you killed.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

You're Spain!

You like rain on the plain, as well as interesting architecture and
a diverse number of races and religions.  You like to explore a lot, but sailing,
especially in large groups, never really seems to work out for you.  Beware of pirates
and dictators bearing bombs.  And for heavens' sake, stop running around bulls!
 It's just not safe!

the Country Quiz at the href="http://bluepyramid.org">Blue Pyramid

Its all about knitting today

9 Apr 2005

Struck down with a bad case of knitblog and knitwork block, I did something I thought I would never do. I bought a ball of silky faux fur stuff. I saw it in a local craft shop and it had 'faux fur stole for Blair' all over it. It was a magnificent peacock green colour (a colour I am presently obsessed with). I took it home and knitted it up. It was very lustrous. It stank like petrochemicals and felt like it had some sort of oily coating on the surface - like a wet seal. It says 'dryclean only' on the label - ridiculous. Anyhow - at least it was quick - over in less than two hours. But you know what?? It looks fabulous on Blair and suits her ballet school uniform just perfectly.
!Posted by Hello

I finished a crochet spiral scarf some weeks ago but forgot to post pictures. Now seems like a good time as I have little else to say. I got the pattern off the internet, it was quick too. Because it is crocheted, I didn't have to cast off 700 odd stitches. I will wear it like a sort of collar rather than a scarf I think. It's a keeper.
Posted by Hello

I began the felted french market bag from knittty. I only got to 136 stitches in the increases as I thought I would go insane if I had to do endless rounds of 200 stitches (I am very impatient). I started it on Thursday night and finished it today (Saturday). Once it got going I enjoyed it, but for some reason I just couldn't get my head around the increases in the base. I also used 6.0mm circulars instead of the 4.5 recommended, as I knew the lovely nundle woollen mill merino was a good felter. I didn't swatch. Never do. I like suprises. I also made use of the Fibonacci sequence when determining the stripe pattern. This appealed to my need to count everything and my dislike of randomness, and I was very happy with the results. Here it is pre-felting, I used my current knitting bag as a size guage for the before and after shots.Knitty felted French Market Bag - pre-felting Posted by Hello

Well, she's out of the washing machine and she look great. It felted like a shrinky dink. I am even happier with the felted version. It is night time now so the after shots would be a bit dark if I did them now. You wouldn't mind? Oh alright then, just wait one second while I go and take a photo of her..........(tick...tick...tick) there you go.

after felting  Posted by Hello

So I guess the knitblock has passed. But there was NOTHING on the needles, and NOTHING on the drawing board. (Plenty of WIP in the cupboard...but chose to ignore that fact).

Then a miracle happened. Knitty spring. I was so excited when I saw it there in my inbox. I rushed straight away and clicked on all the patterns. That fired me up. Co-incidentally, I acquired two balls of Karabella lace mohair yesterday, just the perfect amount for the midstrength version of 'its a wrap'. I'm going to begin right now. I wonder if there's a knitalong?

I was going to say something poignant about the pope, something droll about Charles and Camilla* but my shallow and fickle emotions were eclipsed by immediate need to tell of the TORTURE I endured seeing AWFUL VIDEO of Cheryl Crow singing 'The first cut is the deepest' on the video screen at swankygym today. If that was an Idol audition it wouldn't have seen the light of day. Flat singing, boring clothes, no-imagination video. I am Simon Cowell and that's your lot for the day.

Fairy Godmother ??Now would be a good time to show yourself.

3 Apr 2005

As I said, I joined a gym. A real swanky one. Well, I went to said swanky gym and used it. For three days after I could not walk, bend my knees or sit down. Sitting on the sofa involved lining up the target and dropping with an almighty thud on the seat. Can easily now see how one could break couch doing this (so Glacia, it's okay). Going to the toilet practically required assistance (like a nursing home patient). I had to sleep with my six year old because I was too sore to carry him back to his bed when he crept in in the middle of the night. Pump class was Thursday, I can only walk without flinching today, Sunday. Why would any sane person do this? To top it off - I'm going back there!!

The pope died. I went to mass. Two weeks in a row now, because we went for Easter too. I like mass. I like the idea of a group of strangers standing together in one place proclaiming to beleive in something other than themselves. I like the ideas of do unto others, turn the other cheek, etc. I also like the ritual. It is a bit 'native' and steeped in history and hypnotic in a way. It is also relaxing, because I have to NOT TALK for one full hour. Maybe I am no longer a lapsed Catholic.

I have hit knitting wall. Socks finished. Everything is boring. No good patterns, no good yarn, no inspiration at all. Nothing in stash or WIP fancies me*. Can't wait for IK spring to arrive in post as I have knitter's block. Can't wait for yarn ordered from Woolpeddler to arrive so I can see what this 50/50 wool/silk in a single strand 'knits like butter' looks like.

Been to mass. Going to spend the rest of the day cleaning shower screens and bathroom floors and washing bedlinen and vacuuming carpet and cleaning windows and oiling timber furniture and then am returning to swanky gym for more torture. Torture all day and them some afternoon torture. I wish my Fairy Godmother would make me 'Vietnamese Chicken Salad' for dinner.

*"fancies me". In joke. I once had a Swedish friend who used to get her vernacular a bit mixed up. Standing in Taco Bell in Earl's Court London tiddly one night she looked up at the menu and said "Nothing here fancies me". Brought the house down, I've used it ever since.

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