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

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Knitting Along

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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

31 May 2006

Of course there's been shenanigans.

But he made an honest woman out of me.

We've had bad days.

But together we got there in the end.

And somehow we've managed to make something out of nothing. There used to be just him, muddling through, and me, wasting my time. Together, we've made a family. Out of nothing. And if that ain't magic, well I don't know what is.

We've been married nine years today. Go us.

turning japanese

26 May 2006

I bought this book.

I love it, even though I can't understand it.

Amazing Lace

23 May 2006

I'm getting towards the end of the second border of the lace stole, hopefully start the edging this weekend.

WIP's include the two blankets, Amelie jacket (am awaiting more yarn to finish), a half done clapotis and a sock. I'll do the jacket as soon as the yarn comes in, the others can wait - they're backstops really.

Which brings me to decide on my next project, but what to do? What to do?

I'm too lazy to link, JFGI people.

Eunny Jang's print o the wave stole is looking better every time I see it. I want to do it in Merino Oro, and I'll need to order that on the net, such delicacies aren't available in Australia to my knowledge.

There are other lace projects, I'd love to do frost flowers and leaves from a GOL, and the Vannilin gloves, and the tea shawl, and I've always wanted to do the peacock feathers shawl from fiddlesticks. I'd like to give that Estonian Lace scarf a go too. I'd like to do them all in Merino Oro actually.

As an aside, I've never seen Merino Oro, I just notice that Eunny Jang uses it all the time and her lace is so delicate and light. Apparently it's cobweb weight, should I be afraid?

Something top down raglan for myself would be nice. A smaller one for Blair. I'll use cleckheaton country silk for those.

A few scarves for friends and one for me. Mum wants a scarf ("but not in the repulsive colours you always use. And you always make them too short.")

And I promised myself I'd do some colourwork this year. I'd like to do something fair isle, possibly a vest. I'd have to start small though, because I've never done fair isle before.

The more I think, the more I come up with. At this rate, if I listed all the projects I'd like to do, I'd have a full dance card for 5 years. Lucky I'm not ninety-five.

A beautiful shambles

22 May 2006

On the day the exhibition was due to be hung, our talented and experienced curator abandoned her post and went AWOL. We were half expecting it really. You see she had a condition that we all knew about, and secretly feared it may manifest itself close to the day.

Oh well, the show must go on.

When she finally did show her mug down there on Sunday, look what she brought with her!

Here is Sharon with the magnificent Bronte Violet. What an arty little thing, here at her first gallery exhibition at 48 hours of age.

Oh, and here are some shots of the knitting.

Knitabulous Joins The Amazing Lace to Save Relationship

17 May 2006



Our photographer riskes his safety to give you the truth behind the rumours.


Insiders say the lace has been drowning his sorrows waiting for Knitabulous to call.


Knitabulous hangs unfinished lace in exhibition to prove her devotion.

Mother's Day

14 May 2006

Because I am lucky enough to be a mother, my little family took me to the top of the world for breakfast this morning.

Thank you Louis and Blair, I love being your mother.

I Hate Noro

13 May 2006

There. I said it. I have alway hated Noro.

Scratchy, full of straw. Garish and hideous colourways. Ugly.

Friends of ours opened a yarn store recently. Halelujiah. It's called Daisy Designs and it's in Daisy St, Fairy Meadow. For the international readers, I am not lying about the name of the street or the suburb. Honestly.

Anyway, when I went for a sticky beak last Monday and was touching all the beautiful yarns, out of the corner of my eye I saw a colourway of Noro that did NOT make me physically ill. I picked it up, turned it inside out to make sure what was in the middle wasn't rotten (they do that to strawberries in the supermarket) and I must say it wasn't too bad. The gradation of the pink to the bluey-green really appealed to me. So, I bought some.

About 20 cm into this scarf there was a break in the yarn. And a knot. And on the other side of the knot was a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT colour. No gradation, not even close. Pink, then a knot, then olive green. I kept on knitting, but it looked hideous.

I ripped it back to a place where I could re-join the yarn at a decent looking point, did the spit and rub yarn splicing technique, and kept going. Guess what? Second ball, SAME thing, different place in the colour gradation. The second ball in fact had two additional colours that were completely missing from the first ball.

I juggled and spliced and discarded some and finally came up with this.

Noro, you're too expensive to be this shabby. You suck.

On the other hand, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, you totally don't suck.

And, if you should recieve this finished garment as a gift, in the interests of etiquette, please act appropriately suprised.

6 May 2006

Remember a few days ago when I said that some things happen that make you think there must be a God?

Well, I changed my mind.

Sewing Memories

5 May 2006

I didn’t grow up in a creative household. I said that the other day and I've been thinking about it.

Handmade was not a language spoken by my mother, not then, not now. Until last year, my 38th birthday, I was never the recipient of a home-made birthday cake (thanks to Donni for being a great friend). Sewing in my house was confined to hemming only. There wasn’t a handmade thing in the house.

My mother’s first job when she was emancipated from school at age 14 and nine months (the earliest legal age for leaving school in NSW then to the day) was in a shoe factory sewing pieces of footwear together. Her own mother was a fantastic cook and probably quite proficient in other crafts but her mental state in general and other habits made her a neglectful parent. They were also very poor. Perhaps as a child my mum envied the shop-bought biscuits, toys and clothes.

Perhaps this is why she now eschews the handmade, because after many years of struggle she enjoys the benefits of living in a more elevated socio-economic group and is able to afford to buy things ready-made. She does not even have to hem her own trousers any more, even though she probably does a better job than the little tailoring booth. To her, maybe the connotations associated with the handmade are poverty, inferiority, shame and embarrassment perhaps.

Interestingly it is the opposite of how myself and a lot more of us feel about handmade things these days, in the era of mass production of poor quality goods and exhausting consumer choice. Handmade things are special, they are magic, they are better. Could it be a 'class' thing?

When I chose to study textiles and design at junior high school my mother was disapproving, but slightly less so than if I had chosen Home Economics. She perceived that in her day the less 'well off' girls did cooking while the ‘better’ girls did sewing. She would have preferred me of course to eschew all domestic subjects and stick to the 'proper' subjects like maths and science, but, as long as it wasn’t cooking, if it had to be a social science then sewing was okay.

I can remember making a tiny smocked, hand sewed, french seamed baby dress, a four gored skirt, and an outfit made from a pattern of our choice sewn and modelled fashion parade style for our major work. I think there may have been some embroidery in there too, for I know how to do almost all of the traditional stitches and someone must have taught me how to do it, but I’m not sure when it was.

Without exception, whenever I threaded the machine or the needle and started to sew it was a disaster. My sweaty adolescent fingers smudged the fine lawn. Embroidery floss puckered by lazy threading was pulled through the same spot until holes formed. I used ballpoint instead of special marking pencils to mark out the smocking dots. My knots came undone. My seams split, the lines weren’t straight and perfectly cut pieces suddenly became assymetrical and awry. At the last minute my mother would pick it up, gently hand wash it, ask me to thread the machine for her and explain how the pieces went together and she would fix it. Perfectly. Every time.

For the pattern of choice I chose a strapless boned bodice with a puff skirt made in electric blue and black striped taffeta (well, it was the eighties and it was Wollongong!). My mother did not approve, claiming it to be inappropriate both for my age and the catholic school I went to. She was probably right, but other girls were making worse, and I was defiant and judgemental of her attitude. I surrepticiously bought the pattern and material from Home Yardage when she wasn’t there anyway, and began the project in secret.

What a shemozzle. The teacher (who, no word of a lie, not only had no formal teacher training but also used to make red and black and feathered lingerie in class because her daughter was a stripper – so much for catholic values!) cut out the pieces for me. The cheap polyester taffeta was slippery, the sewing-machine needle caught on the threads and puckered the fabric. The stripes weren’t straight. The gathered skirt join was crooked, so the bodice was trimmed and trimmed and trimmed until it sat almost under my breasts instead of at the hip, and didn’t quite cover the necessary parts.

I’ve never been one to ask for help, and the teacher was too busy fawning over one of the local fashionista’s daughters who was drafting a Stuart Membrey (remember him?) knock-off and making it in real designer fabric sourced from some exotic place in SYDNEY no less, to notice.

The week of the fashion parade I was distraught. There’s no way I could walk down the catwalk in that unfinished and awful dress. At fifteen I would have had enough trouble walking down the catwalk in front of the whole school in full uniform including bowler, blazer and gloves let alone a strapless puffskirted dress in gaudy cheap taffeta. I was sick with nerves.

I had to confide in my mother. She surprised me completely. She took the awful mess, made me try it on. She tut-tutted and pinned and unpicked. She asked me to thread the sewing machine and she sewed straight lines where I was unable. Unbeleivably, she fixed it! And when I tried it on again, even though it didn’t look as good as the picture, it was passable.

Even better, she let me have the day off anyway!

2 May 2006

I didn’t grow up in a creative household. However whenever I have been exposed to any fibre-related craft I have always been fascinated and enthralled. Particularly the knitting, which has really stuck with me. I think it’s the yarn, not the knitting that does it – all that variety in colour and texture and content, all those brands, all those shopping opportunities! Not to mention the endless web surfing (what a shame it doesn’t burn the calories like running huh?)

Anyhow, I digress. Every second Tuesday some friends and I get together at various people’s houses for a spinning night. I don’t spin, I just knit, but they don’t mind. There’s a core group and I love the energising effect it has on me. I love what we talk about – it ranges from the fibrous to the current and esoteric to the fluff – and it’s all wonderful.

The other day the conversation came around to the administration/organisation of our stitch and bitch group’s exhibition, which is coming up at the end of May. Firstly, I was floored that Kerry came up with the idea and booked the venue about a year ago. What a great idea! Then, Sharon started talking about props, layout and structure. And registration of articles. And exhibition themes. She sounded like she knew what she was talking about too!

Becky stated that in her experience, too many props at an exhibition was very stressful. (Experience? In exhibitions and galleries? I am SO impressed!) The conversation turned to insurance. “Exhibitors should be aware that they are responsible for their own insurance”. (INSURANCE?? – How technical, how professional!)

I think it’s the quietest I’ve ever been for half an hour in years!

When everyone went home and I was clearing up the dishes, I was once again amazed at the enrichment I receive from these people and these meetings. I’ve spoken of it before.

I felt so wonderful, so lucky, so special to be included in these conversations. So excited to be involved and more than a little apprehensive about what articles I have knitted that would be good enough for a professional, curated real arty farty exhibition.

I have a motto : “I’m not an artist, I just knit.” It’s a safe motto because it precludes the possibility of failure at creativity and artistic expression by refusing to acknowledge it’s existence in the first place. Like saying ‘I’m too stupid to study’ it is in fact self fulfilling.

I don’t know if you have these self-fulfilling negative thoughts, but I have them all the time. “I haven’t got time to do postgraduate work” so I don’t enrol. “I don’t have time to go the gym” so I don’t go. “I love my food too much to diet” etc, etc.

Do you know that song by George, the Special Ones?

So rather than being pushed around, I'm going to push you away first
So rather than trying to protect you, I'm going to cover my bases first
So rather than trying to open my heart, I'm going to lock it with a key
So that only the special ones, so that only the special ones, can ever get through to me

I realised something that night at ‘every second Tuesday’, I’ve always known it but I’ve been slow to acknowledge. You can’t protect yourself from failure by refusing to engage yourself in life. You can’t pretend something’s not important to you for fear it won’t succeed, for that is a sure-fire way of making what you pretend come true.

I think I’m going to have to abandon my motto, I don’t think it’s doing me any good.

Modern Day Miracles

1 May 2006

Not all the time, but sometimes when some things happen I just think there must be a God.

Holiday Knits

Great title for a book I say.

Over the school holidays there has been some knitting progress, a little less than I had planned, and a start on something completely new and unplanned.

Shetland Lace Sampler, one border finished. Having a rest whilst I finish the following

sleeve!! Finally going in ok. I short-rowed it in to about halfway and am decreasing at the underarm down to a reasonable width.

Here we all are in Tilba Tilba - home of alpaca, wine and cheese. Oh how I like it there!

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