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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

More embarrassment

30 Jan 2006

Why didn't anyone point out to me that Australia Day is not the anniversary of federation but in fact the anniversary of colonisation?

Have changed the post. Embarrassed.

My my my beautiful Sunday

Yesterday the sun shone brightly and the weekend was almost over. We went on a little Sunday drive to Tourist Town. You know where it is, just off Highway Robbery.

And that weather, she's such a show off.

Annie, does this look familiar to you?

Fortnightly knit redux - Part 2

For the second fortnight of 2006 knitting, may I present to you the following:

The bear-claw blanket - Interweave Knits Spring 2005 - square 1 almost finished. Ideally I would have liked to do it in brighter colours but I got a real bargain on this peruvian alpaca. It's a bit sheddy, and it only came in muted colours so I went with green, caramel and cream. I love me the alpaca, it's so soft.

Here's something - if I were going to do the knitting Olympics, I would have picked this blanket. If it took me two weeks to do almost one square, do you think it's realistic that I would have been able to do nine squares and the edging, grafting and blocking in sixteen days?

Don't anybody say nice postbox either.

And I need to mop the steps too.

And here's the Mystery Shawl 2. I'm up to the edging, which is a ten row 28 stitch repeat, absorbing five stitches from the edge of the shawl per repeat. I think it's something like 70 repeats of the edging down each side. It gets a bit of a rhythm going once you memorise the repeats, but still it's pretty slow. I'm pretty pleased with how this is coming out, as my first attempt is in the naughty cupboard, untouched since November snb where I completely mangled the edging pattern because I was multitasking; talking, eating, drinking at knitting all at once.

Please excuse my unladylike pose and absence of makeup. I hope I haven't frightened anyone.

TARYN TARYN TARYN. This is for you. Well the sock is not for you, nor is it for me even though it is here on my foot. It is my husband's sock. Regia sock, wildfoote luxury sock pattern called diagonal rib socks. Normal top down easy peasy sock. Will there be another one?

This is a ring-in project. My plans on being strict with myself and only working on three projects at a time and FINISHING one before starting a new one have come awry already. This is the beginning of this.

This pattern is a bit of a mongrel to get your head around when you start. Although, once you get it going it's okay. The secret is in the markers - two sets required, one set for increasing and one set for pattern repeats, which start over at the beginning of each set and aren't evenly spaced.

Done in wool/ramie blend (thank you Celia). I can't continue this until I get some 5.5mm needles, so I don't expect this to get much attention in the next fortnight.

So there you go. It felt like a lot of knitting to me.

Australia Day

28 Jan 2006

On Thursday we had a public holiday in Australia to celebrate the anniversary of the colonisation of our country. I guess it's a bit like the fourth of July, but lower key.

We took the boat out on the lake.

We saw a sqaudron of pelicans. This one Blair called Nigel.

The kids did some fishing.

And I knitted a sock.

Happy Anniversary Australia.

A Rare Occassion deserves a fine beverage

26 Jan 2006

On Tuesday night I had the rare priveledge of finding myself at home at 7:00pm all alone. My mum had taken the kids for a sleepover and Alan was working late.

I boiled the kettle and made an infusion called 'choc chip chai' from a company called t2. Jussi had kindly sent me this as a tribe gift in November, and I had yet to try it. My oh my I wish you could have been there to experience the smell. It was like a clovey, cinnamony chocolatey - a perfume like fragrance. It permeated the whole kitchen - and it was divine. I settled down outside on the back balcony with it's sweeping city rooftop view (I call it my Parisienne view - oh if only) and the distant ocean glimpses to enjoy the twighlight and do some knitting.

I saw and heard a wonderful and breathtaking flock of black cockatoos, heard the piercing chirrup of a hundred rainbow lorrikeets as they flashed past me, and listened to the background shrill of the crickets and the cicadas. There was the comforting clatter of the neighbours domesticity, a call for a pet cat, the slight crash of dishes in the sink, a bit of chatter.

The air was warm but not hot, and I was spared from too much humidity. The mosquitos even stayed away. I watched a glorious orb spinner make the most intricate delicate web right in front of me, when I say I love spiders I really mean I love watching spiders from a distance. I don't like touching spiders but I love watching them spin their webs.

Our TV was off, there were no meals to prepare, no dishes to put away, nobody to help bathe, no teeth to brush, no pj's to find, no tucking in to be done - it was almost two hours of pure unadulterated tranquil BLISS. I can't even remember the last time I spent an hour alone, seriously, it must be years. I enjoyed it so much I felt really guilty and like a neglectful mother. That's a catholic girl's school education for you.

When I was in my twenties I really hated being alone. If I ever found myself alone for any length of time in any of the shared houses I lived in then, I would grab the keys, make a few calls and find someone to hang out with. If that failed I'd go to my parents house. Later when I was in London I would visit the local pub where at any time either myself or one of my friends either worked, lived or dated someone who worked or lived there, or I would go to the gym.

But now it happens so rarely that it really is a pure luxury.

Sometimes, the simple things are often the best. I love that.

A good yarn

24 Jan 2006

The yarn co-op I am a member of is having a Henry's attic co-op.

It is offering (among other things)

Andromeda (same yarn as Lorna's laces lion and lamb - undyed) 50/50 wool/silk $43.00 usd a pound (1000 m)
Avalanche (100 silk dk weight - ooh la la - undyed) $50.00 usd a pound (1250m)
Alpaca Lace (100% alpaca, laceweight) $24.50 usd (a whopping 2450m)

Check it out on

Other co-ops coming up

Addi Turbo's
Interlacement yarns (they look yum)
Henry's Attic (second slew of options)


It takes a bit of reading to work out how it all works - and I would lurk among the messages to see if it's for you because sometimes there are delays, and you've got to know what you're buying and whether it really is cheaper so caveat emptor of course.

Anyway, thought you might be interested......

No no knitting olympics

23 Jan 2006

I'm not joining the knitting olympics. Mainly because I didn't even know the winter olympics were on.
But I am going to join this club.

Doesn't it sound like fun?

Beware, paper craft.

Summer of Bruschetta

I read on someone's blog recently about how they went to their husband's work christmas party and wore a handknitted lace stole, sat next to a woman wearing a garter stitch fun fur rectangle and guess who got all the oohing and aahing over the magnificent creation? (Rhetorical question, you know the answer)

We have at work what's called the 'twelve morning teas of Christmas' where we pair up in groups and host twelve morning teas leading up to Christmas Day. One year I made tiny burgers on cocktail sticks. I hand rolled and cooked a million or so little tiny beef burgers, hand made two million tiny rolls with yeast and everything and bought micro greens and sliced baby beets - I even topped them with a chutney on them made from scratch. My partner made, among other yummy things, a microwaved chocolate fudge cake. Can you guess who got all the glory? I'll give you a hint, her name did not start with an A.

Earlier tonight (before I drank a few beers, half a bottle of yellowglen and half a bottle of Cricket Pitch red) my husband made the bruschetta for the friends we had around for an impromptu bbq. He failed to DESEED the tomatoes (!), hacked them into pieces of a RANDOM and COARSE nature, omitted the EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil, and I think may have splashed BALSAMIC VINEGAR in it (heresy!).

Guess what???? They were raving about it.

Which leads me to ponder, who are these philistines visiting my home??????

I made some vintage

22 Jan 2006

Ok, so the navel gazing I had in the last post has finished, and like Jussi said (paraphrased) "get over yourself and get on with it". Quite right too.

Here's something I crocheted for my mother for Christmas. I like it because it's a pattern from 1912 ish and therefore is geniune antique/vintage. It's not really wonky on the picot edges like it looks, but I didn't pull it out very well for the picture.

Boring boring blogger

19 Jan 2006

Lately, I've been happening upon a lot of blogs emanating negative vibes. In fact, oceans of negative vibes. And I, for one, don't want to go swimming. No links for you either, you have to wait till your food settles, otherwise you'll get cramp and drown. (Did your mum tell you that when you were little? You do now realise it's total crap don't you?)

However one of the threads giving me the most laughs at present is a topic they're discussing on the knitflame. (google it if you want the link - I'd prefer it if they weren't on my case too). Some poor soul mentioned on the knitlist that she wanted to go to the yarnshop alone as she got nasty looks from the salespeople when she took her wild toddler with her and that she couldn't leave him at home as his father was scared of him. She then added lol.

Anyhow, the knitflame got hold of it like flies on poo. From indignant "I can't believe a father was scared of his own child" to "some men are just lazy bastards" to insinuating that "she can't discipline her own child and won't allow him to either" - oh puleez you people - breathe! I think she was joking - you know what that is??

And besides, I'm terrified of my kids too.

This has led me to ponder the question that others have pondered before me and others will ponder in the future. WHY DO I KEEP THIS BLOG??

I started the blog for sp4. Simple truth. I wanted to get free stuff so I started a blog. So, I guess I have Jacqueline to thank for that. The first comment I got I nearly pissed my pants with excitement, although now I look back at it I think it may have been spam - but how the hell was I to know that waay back then?

For some people, it's the comments that keep them going. Not me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy them but I'm as guilty of lurking as you are. And quite frankly, I would say those bloggers with hundreds of 'that thing looks amazing - what yarn did you use?' turned the 'email me my comments' off years ago.

For others, it's the creative expression, the tangible documentation of their artistic life. Well, I know some people personally who fall into that blog category and to them I say 'slanche' (Irish cheers) and please don't ever stop. But I don't fall into that category myself. I don't design - what I do is knit from patterns, and half of what I knit I rip out anyway. For heaven's sake, it's not rocket science, it's binary code!!! (As Sharon and I have discussed on previous occassions)

And it's not the other blogs either. I don't have a competitive bone in my body, so I could stop blogging but keep visiting you all and still be soaring with wonderment at all those beautiful things you make, that gorgeous sewing, that really cool fabric, the intricate lace knitting, the super clever hat - etc, etc. All the free patterns would still be there, I could still access them without this blog.

And sometimes the blog is a pain in the arse. I feel like I used to be funny, but now it's just a chore. Kepping a blog is like starting a relationship, you can't keep your hands off them at first and then you find yourself peeing with the door open. So, I come to the desk and blog away, all the time thinking of England. You know what?? I know you can tell, but you're too polite to say anything.

Stranger still, some of my co-workers wanted the url of this site. I gave it to them reluctantly and now I wish I hadn't have. I am almost embarrassed about it, really. Is that wierd?

So if it isn't the comments, and it isn't the knitting. And god only knows I've never kept a diary in my life. ('Don't ever write anything incriminating down' - was my mother's advice to me as a teenager), so this has got me really wondering if it's all worth it. If I stopped blogging I'd get a heap more knitting done, that's for sure. I may even do the vacuuming.

But here's the rub. Do you really want to know why I keep this journal?

Then I'll tell you. It's because of all of you. The funny, tragic, fragile, creative, depressed, loony, serene, damaged, lucky, fascinating PEOPLE I have made contact with over the past year.

I'm talking about you.

Because you're gorgeous.

The first fortnight knitting redux

14 Jan 2006

OK, so this is new for 2006. Every fortnight I'm going to come clean about what's been on the needles - disasters and all.

You see I knit a lot. A real lot. I'd say seventy five percent of what I knit ends up being frogged. And I hardly ever blog about those things, but all that has come to an end. This year, I intend to expose everything every two weeks, warts and all. I'm sure I'll find it cathartic, and you lot may even find some of it amusing.

Anyway, the first fortnight of 2006 has been up and down in the knitting arena. I knitted up some Karaoke soysilk/wool in Mermaid colourway into a bag. I sort of made it up, and here's what it looked like pre-felting. I was so excited, I even bought some Kaffe Fasset quilting fabric for the lining of the bag (thats the stuff in the background of the pic below). I envisioned myself using it all winter, graciously accepting the compliments on my uber cool one of a kind creation.

Well. After felting it was totally ruined. I ended up cutting it up into peices and hand sewing it into shape. However, my inability to cut or sew straight lines led to the grotesque thing you see in the bottom right corner of this picture. But I haven't totally given up hope - I'm sure someone who can sew may be able to offer me some advice or take it across the road and fix it up. When they come back from their holiday of course.

Luckily, not everything in this picture is a disaster.

On the top left is a swatch of some lace I did a few nights ago. Very very easy pattern, only one-way knit togethers and what a lovely undulating wave pattern it is. It's a version of the shetland pattern print o'the wave. I want to make a wrap in this pattern, but I think I'mm need to go down a needle size or two and do it with finer yarn. This is 2ply silk on 4mm - I'll probably go down to very fine lacewieght on 1.75mm's for the actual wrap. Anyway, that's for later in the year, right now it's just a swatch and an idea.

Can you see the lovely stitch markers there on the little pin? I got them as a tribe gift from the lovely Danielle. She also gave me the Dali-esque card and the skein of beauty - socks that rock in 'mountain fire' colourway. My oh my - this stuff almost certainly won't be socks - way too nice to shove into shoes. Plus I'm a stiletto - havianas kinda girl. Going to be a scarf. Thanks so much Danielle it was a super pleasant suprise,

Don't you just love the feeling you get when someone sends you something out of the blue? - such a good feeling. Such a great tribe.

I've been plodding away on the second attempt at the second mystery shawl. It's got less mistakes and is going along much faster than my first attempt. However, the edging is the killer - it's a wide border and you incorporate the live stitches as you go. Hopefully, by next fortnight it will be done.

I call this my 'penance knitting'. I'm not loving it, but I will feel so cleansed when it's over. Plus I feel like a such a failure when I abandon projects. So, this one I am going to finish. It's true that lace knitting doesn't photograph well - but here's how it's going so far.

There's been some progress on a sock for the summer sockalong thing that taryn is running. I haven't taken any pics of it yet so you're just going to have to take my word for it. I'm using some regia sock yarn that Celia kindly gave me in sp6. What a lot of yarn I looted in that exchange! Celia you rock.

So there you go, the knitting redux for the fortnight.

Fun wasn't it?

Even more maudlin

12 Jan 2006

Check out my husband in the tshirt santa brought. I feel a bit like that today too.

More bad news

Our fridge is leaking like a (I dunno, insert very leaky item here).

The vacuum cleaner packed it in.

And as if that wasn't enough, at work today I had a severe case of reverse Midas touch. Everything I handled turned, not to gold, but to crap.

You mind reading blog robber

Sharon, I mean you.

I was going to make a post about peak oil and how whether it comes in two years or ten years the fact is we're going to be witness to it.

What's it goig to be like when we're telling our grandchildren about the good old days when petrol was 75c a litre
(and we thought that was expensive) and overseas aeoroplane travel was fairly commonplace and we all drove big petrol guzzling cars and burnt our fossil fuels until there were none left for them.

But then the stripey tiger beat me to it.

And, two weeks of no fags, no dairy fat, what I considered to be a meagre amount of food and 8 exercise classes, I find that I have in fact GAINED 100grams this week. We shall never speak of this again.

Is it co-incidence or just statistical error?

9 Jan 2006

There are a lot of knitting blogs. My rudimentary statistics knowledge (which they made me do for my degree) tells me that if you have a sample big enough then you'll get a random distribution which in turn means that the probability of an event is more likely to be evenly spaced among the population (ie: there will be no bias). Where am I going with this?? Just bear with me.

Yesterday I posted about the heirloom knitting shawls. Donna commented that she's got the book on order - have I mentioned that that girl is a walking yarn/pattern encyclopedia? Well she is, and I'd be most excited if she does bring the book to snb aka show and tell next month.

Well, you won't believe this but two knit bloggers have set up a new blog called the Princess Diaries, aimed at charting their journey ('charting' - lace pun - aw I'm funny) of discovery through their knitting of the princess shawl from Heirloom Knitting. I stumbled upon it by accident, I clicked on someones blog list and got the blue blog and it went from there.

Right now they're just talking about how scared they are. But knitterguy's swatching so I'll be keeping my eye on this one - they plan on it taking at least a year to complete this project.

The most startling thing I read was that the knitterguy knitted the spider queen shawl and keeps it in a freezer bag in his freezer. I wonder if there's ice cream in his wardrobe?

Oh, and if you want the pattern you can't have it. It was a limited release of 250, and won't be released again until 2010.

Anyhow, I gotta go, a friend's coming round for coffee with her littlies and I was supposed to shower half an hour ago.

Ciao bellas.

Show me some discipline

8 Jan 2006

The more knitted lace I see, the more I want to make. It has become quite an obsession.

I am currently unable to get these wedding ring shawls out of my head. Please go and have a look. To me, they are just pure bliss. However, I have yet to see any such finished objects out there in blogland. Anybody? The yarn harlot and snowball I think have ordered the patterns, but if they've finished them it's been a big secret. And they're like, famous knitting machines, not upstarts from suburbian Wollongong like myself.

So, this shawl thing and what the yarn blog has recently brought up has got me thinking. How many well known knitting patterns never get made because they're too complicated or too long or too expensive?? And is it because we're too lazy or that we're just accustomed to instant gratification that we can't commit ourselves to these large projects. After all, the satisfaction of completing such a thing of glory must be immense.

Pam Allen's wrap style has a beautiful wrap in it that calls for 18 skeins of cashmere. It's as thick as a woven blanket. How many of those do you think have been made by handknitters? I'll hazard a guess not that many.

The weekend getaway satchet (felted carpet bag) in the interweave recently - you know the awesome one with all the flowers. There's a knitalong for that, it started in July 05 and it doesn't look like a single person has finished it.

Compare that to the greek pullover knitalong - there's nothing but finished objects there - and how gorgeous are they all?

Ene's scarf out of scarf style has a few finishers as well, and that's not a lightweight knit. (Well it is lightweight actually but you know what I mean)

The clapotis knitalong's in it's third year and literally thousands have been finished. Branching out's done well too.

Which leads me to consider my number one coveted project, the bear claw blanket. I have started one before, and got almost one of the nine squares done. They're mitred, and you pick up the edge and carry on patchwork style and then join them all up with long strips of garter stitch. The whole blanket's done on sock needles.

If I google the 'bear claw blanket' - how many finished objects do you think I'll get???

Methinks this project may be too ambitious for me.

Shannon, that yoga thing is an EXCELLENT idea! I'll get onto that as soon as I can get arse off couch.

Stole this meme from glacia

7 Jan 2006


Now I know what chicken fight is I can say Yes to that one.
Snuff - I knew what it was but wasn't sure about the 'dipped' bit - still I haven't ever done any snuff.

Have you ever...?

smoked a cigar: yes

crashed a friend’s car: no

stolen a car: no

been in love: yes

been dumped: no

dumped someone: yes

taken shots of alcohol: taken them where?

been fired: yes

been in a fist fight: yes

snuck out of a/your house: yes yes yes

had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back: yes

been arrested: no

made out with a stranger: yes

gone on a blind date: no

lied to a friend: yes

had a crush on a teacher: no

seen someone die: no

been on a plane: yes

thrown up in a bar: yes

miss someone right now: yes

laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by: yes

made a snow angel: yes

played dress up: yes

cheated while playing a game: no

been lonely: yes

fallen asleep at work/school: no

used a fake id: yes

felt an earthquake: yes (a little one)

touched a snake: yes - ugh

run a red light: yes

had detention: no

been in a car accident: yes

hated the way you look: yes

been lost: yes

been to the opposite side of the country: Well I haven't been to Perth but I drove from NY to LA.

felt like dying: no

cried yourself to sleep: yes

played cops and robbers: no

karaoke: yell yeah! (always a mistake)

done something you told yourself you wouldn’t: yes

laughed till some kind of beverage came out of your nose: yes

caught a snowflake on your tongue: no

kissed in the rain: yes

sang in the shower: yes

made love in a park: yes

had a dream that you married someone: no

glued your hand to something: no

got your tongue stuck to a flag pole: no

worn the opposite sex’s clothes: yes

been a cheerleader: no

sat on a roof top: yes

talked on the phone all night: yes

ever too scared to watch scary movies alone: no

played chicken fight: yes now Shannon told me what it was I can say I've done it.

been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on: yes. happens at our place ALL THE TIME!!

been told you’re hot by a complete stranger: yes

broken a bone: yes

dipped snuff: no

lived overseas: yes

ever passed out/fainted: no

What do I do now?

6 Jan 2006

What do you all DO in the night if you don’t smoke cigarettes?????

I only used to smoke after the kids went to bed. Never in the day. Never ever inside the house. None of my work colleagues would ever consider me a smoker, unless of course I was drunk – which I rarely am at work.

But after the kids were asleep I’d sit outside and smoke fags and knit like a madwoman. And I loved it. It was like the unwind trigger, I would smoke and smoke and knit and knit and count stitches like an autistic savant.

So now I don’t smoke any more. The hours drag on forever in the evenings. I don’t watch much TV, we turn it on to watch a program and turn it off afterwards. After the kids go to bed if it’s not House or Survivor I barely notice it. That was because I was always outside.

Now that I am inside I don’t know what to do with myself. There’s still knitting of course, but I haven’t got a proper comfortable knitting spot in the house – I’ll have to work on that. There’s the internet – and I’m developing a penchant for stupid online games.

So now I am faced with the endless evenings. And when I finally do go to bed, I can’t sleep. I’ve been tossing and turning till 2 am all week. I would say it was some sort of withdrawal symptom probably – and that scares me. I’m also too scared to have a drink in case I lose what self control I do have and race of to the servo for 20 winnie silver. I joined weight watchers as well. I don’t do things by halves you know. And I’ve started to exercising again.

You know what I feel like?? I feel like the world’s most boring woman.

Interweave nitwits

3 Jan 2006

Thanks for all the support over the nicotine thing. It's not that easy is it??

I too am a little worried about them there at Interweave Knits. And not just because it is obvious that nobody who works there has had any decent form of classical education.

The winter IWK arrived on my doorstep some time ago, however I am sure my subscription has expired. Maybe it was a suprise present from them. Still, nothing to complain about there.

Then, just before Christmas as a special treat to myself, I ordered Interweave Knits Crochet 2005 (what an oxymoron). On Monday I recieved a sealed envelope with an invoice/packing slip thanking me for my order of IWK Crochet 05 but inside is KNITSCENE. I didn't order KNITSCENE, I ordered INTERWEAVE KNITS CROCHET. I've emailed them, I hope they come to the party because the international postage is practically more expensive than the magazine itself.

So let's look at Knitscene. What makes it different from Interweave Knits? The intro says it's for knitters who love sumptuous yarns, follow trends but go for the offbeat.. blah blah blah. So I would infer a younger target market. Younger and with more money for expensive yarn. Hmm - does that imply that older knitters have no fashion sense, no money and can't differentiate between crap and quality???

Plus there's the internet options, bonus photos, yarn shops, some exclusive patterns etc etc etc. What clever people to think to marry the internet with knitting. Amazing it hasn't been done before really. What knitty?

First article. "move over Margaret Thatcher. Iron Lady style has trickled down - sttely ruffles, notched collars and tidy buttons...." ARE YOU SERIOUS??? IS THIS THE BEST YOUR COPY WRITERS COULD DO??? To my memory, Margaret Thatcher was an evil stocky woman who wore severe tight suits and was absolutely hated by the people, especially the youth. Not to mention the fact that she is now about eighty. Somebody at IWP thinks that they can manufacture Cool Britannia by just tossing around a British name. I think they have failed to grasp a fundamental cultural difference between the USA and the UK - while you lot adore your leaders the British hate the bastards. This Maggie Thatcher thing is just plain stupid.

Second copy writer's clanger. "Pinks fit for Parliament" - that is so daggy I just laughed.

Although the garments are nice. Unfortunately it is unlikely that the target market could in fact afford the materials to make them. One cardigan I fancy uses yarn that costs 11.50 a ball and requires 12-13 balls.

My favourite project in the book requires 17 skeins of alpaca at $8 per skein plus 10 skeins of brushed mohair at $8 per skein. That's about $220 for the jacket. I could almost get an armani on ebay for that much.

The rest of the mag is up and down. There's that redhead model again. In a disgusting blue monster of a sweater. A nice cardi. A foul beyond beleif crochet tunic.

A style guide thingy from Veronik Avery. Misses the point that if you have to read how to do it, you probably won't be able to carry off the vintage ensemble chuck it together and be fabulous look anyway. Fluff.

A page of knit on the street photos - now that is a good idea.

Anyway, for a magazine I didn't order and didn't want, I certainly got a lot of block mileage out of it.

So my advice to Interweave press would be to
a) save postage and don't send all that computer generated reminder crap.
b) save postage and actually send what the customer ordered in the first place.
c) sack the person who writes your copy for knitscene, they're shit.

By the way, does anyone want to swap a knitscene with an IWK Crochet magazine?? Might be quicker for me, as I haven't heard back from interweave press as yet.

And Finally, do you see that finished projects thingy there on the left? Boring isn't it? I'm thinking of changing it to the 'disasters of 2005' set or the 'knit and immediately frogged' set. What do you think??

Goodbye 2005

2 Jan 2006

In 2005 I said some goodbyes. Some of them were very sad. I hope all of them are permanent.

Goodbye nicotine. I miss you already. But I was ashamed of you and hid you from everyone and you were not going to be a good friend to me in my old age, so I had to bid you adieu.

Goodbye Dairy Fat. What were you doing for me except making me look like Elvis? I mean apart from the magnificent mouth-feel of full dairy fat and the decadence of king island roaring forties blue, the crumbly mersey valley cheddar, the unctuous runny brie and the enticing stink of ambrosia. I love you, but our relationship must end.

Goodbye mindight. You were a constant companion for my insomniac knitting. The 2006 Ailsa goes to bed in the tens. Not in the ones like the 2005 Ailsa. That way there is a chance I will be able to get TWO kids off to school on time at least one day a week.

Goodbye pre-school children. My baby is going to big school in January. That part of my life is over. It has been the best time of my life, and I am devastated at the prospect of it being finished, but you can't hold back that clock no matter how hard you try. My little Blair will be putting on her uniform and wobbling off to kinder - looking like a turtle with her oversized backpack full of exciting goodies like lunchboxes and textas. If you're looking for me on the 29th Jan, I'll be inconsolably sobbing on the couch that day, clutching her favourite toy.

I wonder what hello's 2006 has in store for us?

False sense of security

1 Jan 2006

So, everything's been going great so far in the Daly Family Christmas 05 right? Right. Weather's been great, right? Right. Even the news has been quiet, as it should be this time of year. No Tsunami's or terrorist attacks or bushfires between Christmas and New Year like we've seen in the past and the newspapers are thin with drivel. (Except for the passing of KP of course but even that was dragged on just to have a headline.)

Whammo. Searing heatwave. Right now, it's 8pm and still well over 30 degrees outside. It has been over 40 degrees for three days. So, what do the Daly's decide to do for NYE?

Go to a farm 100 km inland from the cooling coastal breezes. There's no doubt about it we're smart.

We all arrive on the 30th December, 4 or 5 couples and our 11-15 respective children. Usually we ride the quadbikes around the perimiter of the farm, go spotlighting, have the annual afternoon 'farm olympics' (teams/relay style events cleverly devised by the boys over beer and leftover ham sandwiches at lunchtime). At night when the chill comes in we have sparklers and an ice cream and then bed them all down on mattresses on the floor - their little shiny faces nod off one by one with expressions of exhaustion and rapture.

If it gets too hot in the day we connect the fat crop sprinkler from the bore with icy water and let the kids run through it sqealing, while we watch from the shade of the wide verandah.

We eat like kings, feasting on bbq meat and ever increasingly impressive side dishes and salads and nibbles provided by each couple.

We arrived on the 30th December around 3pm. It was at least 42 degrees. Too hot to let the kids play outside at all, lest they perish in the dry dry scorching sun.

At 8:30 pm it may have been below 30 degrees. Maybe. There is a bit of a cool breeze, and we all gather on the verandah to take advantage. The extreme fire danger and total fire ban do not allow the lighting of the fire for the barbeque. We grill sausages for the kids inside but it heats the house up like a furnace and they're not that interested, preferring ice blocks and weak cordial.

One of the adult women mentions that she feels a little queasy. Nobody takes much notice, but of course we should have.

The kids are bored, whiny and sweltering. We try and placate them with more ice blocks. Finally they go to sleep.

We go outside and sit around the dead fire pit. Usually it is very cool at this time of night, and we light a roaring fire and play daggy 80's and 90's music and drink red wine and port and talk rubbish until the wee hours. Not tonight. We are all flat, hot, irritable.

The queasy guest retires early, she's quite ill with a tummy bug.

New years Eve dawns after a fitful night of sleep for everyone on account of the heat. It is even hotter this day than the previous day.

Somehow we manage to get through another scorcher, secretly thanking 'Santa' for the tamagotchis and the game boys. Luckily these kids are all well behaved, as there is no bickering or fights to speak of. The breeze that came through the day before fails to arrive.

The six kg of seafood we lugged up on ice for the 'seafood extravaganza nye feast' seems like just too much trouble. It's too hot to eat. We have bruschetta, and save the garlic and chilli prawns and marinated octopus for much later. The beer runs out before the sun goes down. Everyone blames the heat.

New Years Eve is a much more languid night this year than previous. There's no fireside karaoke performances, no group indian dance round the fire, because there's no fire. The stars though are incredible, so bright and thick that they look like they can't be real. We lie on the grass and watch for shooting stars, there are at least ten of them that night. It's amazing.

During the night, three kids go down with uncontrollable vomiting. We pad through the dimly lit house in bare feet all night, offering cold wascloths, water bottles and cleaning pillows and sheets. I probably had about 2 hours sleep. I was doing the washing up at 5:30 am.

And today, new year's day it was 28 degrees at 8:30am. The weather forecast predicted temps of over 45. We packed as quickly as we could, and came home to the air-conditioned comfort of home. We split the leftover seafood between us. We vowed next year to go to the beach instead.

Naturally enough, by the time we got home from the two hour drive parts of the state were burning with raging bushfires. There's a nice hot westerly wind too, that should help the firefighters no end. Not.

And still the southerly change they promised is only coming in slowly - and it's 9pm.

Welcome to the Australian Christmas.

Tomorrow we shall speak of New Year's resolutions and knitting news. And maybe rant about what might be wrong with interweave press's ordering and dispatching systems.

Until then, stay cool sisters. If you can.

(PS: Notice the compulsory 'chesty bonds' singlets in all the photos. They're compulsory nye farm attire, for men women and children. It makes it a bit of fun for all of us.)

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