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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

I've Done It!

29 Nov 2006

I've been thinking about this for a while.

I've written an open letter in blog form to the owners of knitpicks, imploring them to reconsider their international shipping policy.

For most certainly, while we get our wonderful generous volunteers to act as middle men in this ridiculous situation, we are not encouraging knitpicks to change their policy.

I've even investigated the possibility of 'renting' a US postal address and forwarding service and co-oping knitpicks yarn this way, but surely I'd be part of the problem then not part of the solution?

If you'd like knitpicks to deliver to you, and you don't live in the USA or CANADA or a registered US military base, please head on over and leave a comment.

Spread the word too. Let's see what they have to say.


This is it! And this time I know it's for real

28 Nov 2006

I am in love. This time it's for real. I decided on a pattern for the Debbie Bliss Pure Silk. And, when I've finished knitting it, I'm going to torture it.

Allow me to explain:

The following photo shows how the silk looks straight from the needles. See how it fuzzes around the edges? It's a single strand, it's just the nature of the beast. Heaven knows how anyone could wear a garment made of this stuff, by the time you'd finished knitting it, it would be pilled to buggery just from sitting in your lap and being turned over. Still, it's a joy to knit with, so you can't have everything I suppose.

I took it upstairs and gave it the iron on the hottest setting. Straight on the silk. Even held it down for a while. Honestly, it was not a delicate operation. Just whack it on and push it forwards and backwards as though you were ironing a cotton shirt.

Voila! Look what happens to the silk, the stitch definition. Now it looks like beaten copper.

I was fully aware of this yarn's shortcomings when I bought it anyway - so I was prepared for it. I knew I was going to iron it flat. I was prepared for the trade-off because that single strand of silk slips through your fingers like, umm, like, well, like SILK! It's so light and smooth, truly it's like knitting with magic. And the smell, I'm suprised no-one else seems to have mentioned it to my knowledge. The smell of fresh silk, I just adore it. It's so organic, so distinctive, so SMELLY! Sensitive flower type girls might find it a bit off, but this gutsy, tough Aussie chick loves it.

And, like a cheesy tv show, do you want to see the bloopers? I took three shots of the before situation of the WRONG SIDE of the knitting before I realised. Duh. (Still, even the wrong side looks alright doesn't i?)

One two tree

26 Nov 2006

Recently I had a discussion with a friend about decorating the christmas tree. I stated that I usually themed my tree, and kept my decorations in colour order, so that if I went for say, gold and burgundy one year, gold and cream another year, or silver and blue, I'd be able to kind of mix and match the 'sets' of decorations and pull together a few different looks for less money.

She was apalled - she laughed at me. In her house they just get out the suitcase full of mismatched decorations and chuck them on the tree - like WILLY NILLY!. Some of her decorations are really old, from when she was a child and before. To her, a themed tree is sterile and contrived and not in the spirit of Christmas at all.

Her colourful tree is a reminder of her own childhood, the magic of christmases past is held in those old glass balls and bits of tinsel from prior generations. It's passed down to her children, who get out each decoration with a 'remember this one..?' and they feel the excitement of the advent of christmas through these heirloom peices, no matter how tatty or cheap they may be.

And I understand that fully. But here's where my friend and I will never agree, because no matter what I just can't do 'random'. Can't do it. Random to me equals ugly and messy and want my house to be beautiful and polished. Especially at Christmas, when the tree is the focus of the home, the place you unwrap your presents, the thing you light up for the street to see.

And it's not like I don't love old stuff. If I had a suitcase full of vintage christmas decorations from christmases past, (I wish I did - how awesome) then I'd happily do a vintage themed tree. I'd love an old christmas tree full of wonderful memories, but it would have to look 'put together' in a non-put together way. I'd love to have matchboxes lined with cotton wool made by my grandmother, and glass baubles from days gone by. I'd box them in tissue paper and put little notes about them in the boxes for the kids to read, year after year, it would be like a family 'tree' - in a real organic sense. However, just like a 'bedhead' hairstyle, it would take a lot of work to make it look like it just crawled out of the sack.

However, I've been thinking about this conversation, and thought that this year I'd go for something different. You see, normally I have a serious tree; burgundy and gold, gold and cream, silver and blue - my tree always looks kind of 'formal'.

This year I decided my tree was going to be a riot. A colourful riot - because Christmas is after all, a heap of fun. So, for the first time EVER, I've allowed decorations of more than one colour to go on the tree. I've dispensed with the Star of the East or the Angel on the top, and gone for a madcap santa instead. Gone are the glass teardrops, instead are huge orbs of metallic coral glass embellished with crimson and lime green velvet. There are multicolour stars; shiny santa boots in red, lime and aqua. There's an overdressed poodle powdering her nose, fuschia angels trimmed in marabou feathers, and hundreds of glass balls in sherbet pink and pistachio green. It looks like there's a party going on in that tree.

But it ain't random.

*Footnote: In the interests of the parenting judgement brigade out there, don't fear - it isn't mommy dearest around here.

When we trim the tree - and we always do it after dinner, I let them go beserk and put what they want where. Then, after they go to bed, I re-arrange every ornament the way I like it. After that every time I walk past it, I check it for SYMMETRY and BALANCE, and move an ornament or two to a better place.

** Footnote 2: Please don't look at the apricot walls or vile curtains. I can't afford to replace them just yet, and they aren't my taste at all. Rest assured, when I do you'll know all about it.

A story about colour choice

24 Nov 2006

In the fashion world, each change of season heralds the promise of something new. There's a new skirt length, a new dress shape, a new neckline. And, of course, a new black. And this year's new black is grey. Don't tell me you haven't seen it.

We all tend to do what the others in our world are doing - the art world, the blog world, the fashion world - we're all emulating each other and adding our own little twist if we can. This is true, and that's the very reason we have 'trends' in art, fashion, design, interior decorating, hairstyles, everything. Those grey shift dresses being shown by more than one fashion house, the beige boot, and the prevalence of grey in general supports the notion that they are all copying each other in some way. Or they all know what each other is doing, and none of them are brave enough to make an opposing statement.

Annoying to note that the boot this year is smooth and stiff, the complete opposite of the soft folded lines of last year's pirate style boots. This is deliberate, because it makes the boot wearers of the world feel the need to buy a new pair of three hundred dollar boots each season. I personally thumb my nose at this trend by faithfully wearing my black knee length zip up stretch knee high boot from Kmart every year under my jeans. Fuck fashion, I can't afford it. It ages me, but at least I'm over five foot three when I'm wearing them.

Of course, living in Australia, we have the whole season thing arse about. While the Northern Hemisphere is rugging up in their grey wool coats and strangely shaped shift dresses, we're wearing swimsuits and sundresses, sandals and shorts. The shops are full of the leftovers from the previous summer in the more developed and more populated half of the globe. We wear what they wore six months ago, because that's what's in the shops to buy.

And we won't be rugging up with the grey until at least May next year. Which gives us plenty of time to knit it early so we can actually wear it the while it's 'in', except that it will be 'out' by then because the UK, Europe and America will be in the summer stuff we haven't yet heard of.

If a yarn company values fashion as an objective, new designs, yarns and colourways will be driven by the forces of the fashion industry in a larger sense. Debbie Bliss says she chooses her colours based on what the Parisienne catwalks are showing.

The major fashion houses were showing a lot of grey this autumn. Vogue knitting, in turn, showcased a whole magazine full of silver-grey cabley jackets and pullovers - the influence trickling down from what the catwalks are saying for the season. Even the Socks That Rock club 's most recent colourway was largely grey and very muted - a great change from the fiery colourbursts of previous months.

Which I find kind of funny when I eye off the cone of 'steel' zephyr I bought recently. It's grey and I am in love with it. And the charcoal zhivago seems to me to be the only colour worth buying - last year I liked the cream. Country Silk has a beautiful grey flecked with silver slivers of silk, I like that one the best too. And, just like Miranda Priestley says about Andy's 'cerulean' jumper - I am not fooled into thinking it's my taste making these choices, these choices have been made for me, by the editors of the media that subliminally influence me every day, and by what's available at the time.

By the way, as I write this post, I am wearing a pair of flanno jarmy pants, a mismatched button down jarmie top, my beaudelaires and a shocking pink scrunchy rightfully belonging to my six year old. It's all high fashion in this joint baby.

Projects, projects everywhere but not a thing to knit.

20 Nov 2006

It arrived today.

I joined the knitalong for it, head on over to Jacqueline's blog to join if you're interested.

I haven't decided which one to do, but I've got a shortlist.

I want to start 'eats shoots roots and leaves' but I originally planned it as a New Year's Day cast-on and now that's sort of fixed in my brain like an unbreakable rule. I figure it will take about four months for me to finish - it's a big commitment knit, and it's part of my knitting rules to only have one commitment knit on the needles at a time. So, until the Rose of England's final 23 or so rows are done, no FFL for me. Eunny Jang did hers in sixteen days. Check it.

But, I've run out of yarn for the rose of england, so that's off the agenda until tomorrow if I have time to run to hobbysew.

I don't like how the sleeve went into the cardigan I've been pinning all my knitting hopes on lately. This cardigan was going to be the best fitted cardigan in my wardrobe. My winter staple. And, until the sleeve setting in, it looked great. Now, it looks dreadful. The problem is that the yarn stretched beyond beleif when I pressed it with a steam iron to set in the sleeve. This resulted in a floppy sleeve and armhole where a crisp fitted result was desired. So, I don't want to knit a second sleeve until I sort out what I'm going to do about the first one. Rip and re-do? Ignore, and hope for the best? This project is in the too hard basket for the moment.

I ordered this pattern from cosmicpluto. That's next on the needles, but I'm going to either use the recommended yarn or very similar, and I don't have any of it. Oh, and the pattern hasn't come yet.

I've sold the yarn for the rest of the bear claw blanket. So, that won't be a goer any time soon. I think I'll just make a bag out of the two squares I've done so far. Then I'm going to give the bag away.

I can't remember what size needle I did the hexagonal units I've done so far on the mountain laurel blanket, and I can't be stuffed even finding it, let alone finding out what needle it's made on.

I've started knitting the Muench touch me but if I keep going straight away, it will run out and then it will be all gone. And I don't want that to happen. Not yet.

There's a BIG secret in the cupboard. Not a secret from you, a secret from someone else. I'll never tell, but the result is I can't get it out in the presence of you-know-who. There is enough evidence in the past two sentences to incriminate myself. I can't knit this in full view of he who shall not be named for fear he may enquire as to it's origin. I'll give you a small hint. TEN hanks. Debbie Bliss. Pure Silk. Can only be used when alone.


Maybe I'll just cook some yarn instead.

Christmas Craft

16 Nov 2006

A while ago I bought some french tablecloth fabric remnants. From France no less! Anyway, I tried sewing a nine patch quilt sampler from it but the geometry failed me. And the sewing annoyed me.

But last week I found something to do with fabric that hardly involved any sewing at all. more like origami.


Don't be silly. Of course I'm not taking gratuitous shots in the lightbox to show off. As if.

Oh where oh where has my lace book gone? Oh where oh where can it be?

My advance ordered copy (and yours too Donna) of Victorian Lace Today was shipped from Amazon on the 2nd November. Some people have already received theirs and are speaking most highly of it.

Do you remember Bill steamshovel from Mister Squiggle? I feel like him today.

Oh Hurry up. Hurry up. Hurry up.

(PS: Mister Squiggle, the man from the moon, was one of the best shows on TV imho).

Something for the yarn miss?

15 Nov 2006

ME (to Watermelon Tourmaline Socks that Rock): Why are you being so petulant? What's the matter with you? Don't you want to be pomotomi?

Watermelon Tourmaline Socks that Rock (WTSTR): No. Shut up.

ME: Do you want to go back to the cupboard then?

WTSTR: No please, anything but the cupboard, I'm afraid of the dark. It's just, well, I 'm too pretty to be shoved into a boot.

ME: That you are my precious. You're only little though, there's not much I can do with a scant 100g of WTSTR. Do you mind if I rip you out?

WTSTR: Please do, this scaley pattern is so uncomfortable.

ME: What do you think would suit you the best, since you're so vain?

WTSTR: Garter stitch. Big needles. Modular.

ME: Well, that's against all my knitting principles, but for you I shall make an exception.

WTSTR: Thank you so much, I promise you won't be sorry. Plus, it will be over in two nights.

ME: Hmmm. I'm not convinced, but we shall see. Don't say I never do anything for you.

If you don't eat your vegetables, you can't have any ice cream

14 Nov 2006

I have imposed upon myself a strict knitting regimen. I must endure at least two rounds of the rose of england a night (at 1000 stitches or so a round, it's tedious work) :

In order to be rewarded with a few centimetres of sleeves in the debbie bliss cashmerino, the yarn of the moment:

Because, after that, I can have dessert - a delicious treat with the incredibly captivating yarn that I received for my birthday from four wonderful women. Doesn't it look like a box of chocolates?

Note use of home-made light box, still a bit of work to go but alarming improvement I think don't you?

Examine yourself!

12 Nov 2006

Firstly, may I extend my congratulations to the American public.

Now that that's out of the way...

A very sad thing happened in Australia yesterday. Globally, breast cancer probably took the life of more than one 32 year old woman yesterday, but this is the only one to make the news. Today I am 39 years old. Belinda Emmett was 32. And I complain about having nothing to wear.

Examine yourself today.


It's been a while since you've seen a finished object around these here parts. Today will be no exception, but this week I promise there will be at least one finished object to show you.

Random Rant

You know what? I adore good photography on blogs. A good photo makes any old shit look mouthwateringly beautiful. And, a badly lit digital photo makes even the most intricate handiwork look like nanna crap. I'd love to learn to take better photos - not just for the blog but for the family as well (that sentence for 'normal' people would be the other way around you know). I don't want to post shitty photos on my blog, and I don't want you to either.

In the interests of improving blog photography, I made myself a light box, for about 5 bucks. The light source I used is a normal lamp with a cool daylight environmental bulb in it. Why don't you make one for yourself too? They're easy and very effective, and our macro shots are going to look oh so cool from now on. I'm all about the sharing.

Thanks for the birthday emails, internet friends. They made me feel warm and gooey. As did the highly calorific breakfast Donni dropped over at 7:30 this morning - she's creating her own tradition here - that's two years in a row she's made me a birthday breakfast.

Lacevember Competition

8 Nov 2006

The knitting questions, or the usual suspects

How long have you been knitting?
three/four years.

How did you learn to knit?
From an evil bitch who hated me (see recent post)

Favorite thing about knitting? the constant counting - perfect for the very rare form of asperger's I have.

How long have you been knitting lace?
about 18 months

Favorite thing about knitting lace - the repeating patterns and the counting - I love counting, sad but true.

The yarn questions, or flash your stash

Favorite lace yarn? Horses for courses, I like most laceweight I've seen so far.

variegated or solids for shawls? Solid

Favorite lace color? I like 'ambiguous' colours, muted colours and pretty colours. I absolutely despise autumnal shades, orange being my least favourite colour.

Technique, or show us your skillz

Circs or straights? Circs

Favorite lace knitting trick? you lace knitting does tricks? Jeez, where have I been?

Lifelines? If so with what? I don't use them enough. But if I did it would be dental floss.

Fancy blocking wires, or just sewing pins stuck in your carpet?
Sewing pins in the carpet, but if anyone wants to buy me a present .......

Pattern, or can you follow directions

shawls or lacey items? both

triangle, rectangle, or circular shawls?
triangles and circles

Charts or printed instructions?
charts mostly
Favorite lace you've knit?peacock feathers shawl, but the Rose of England is making a last minute race for the finish line..

Favorite lace you want to knit?
I'm looking forward to 'Victorian Lace Today' (amazon has sent my pre-ordered copy already) I reckong there'll be something in there for me. Frost Flowers and Leaves is on the wish list for 2007.

Just Fun, yup that's right, just for fun

Favorite jelly belly flavor? What is a jelly belly?

Tell me everything you know about Eric the Red.....
Um.. His name is Eric... and he's red..?

Coke, classic or with lime? classic with a slice of lemon and ice in a glass

Holiday carols, sing along, or wish they would be banned from all public airwaves
?love carols and singalong. And karaoke. And singstar.

What is the definition of irony?A fundamentalist religious zealot (any denomination) having a gay child.

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?
WEll I don't know what a tootsie roll pop is either, these questions are culturally biased!

Why is my cat always puking in front of my son's bedroom door? I hate cats.

What is your superhero power?
I am psychic.

If the laundry is 9 foot by 11 foot (just dreaming, that's a big laundry room), and the walls are 8 feet tall, and you are going to tile the entire room in tiles that are 3 inches by 5 inches, what color should those tiles be? I'd love a huge laundry too, it's where I spend most of my time. Tiles are asylum white, floor to ceiling.

What's for dinner tonight?I've got a hangover so it'll be chicken schnitzel or possibly tuna mornay ..both with steamed brocolli and carrots.

What is clogging my children's bathtub drain?last time I plunged it there were two toothbrushes and a miniature Mufasa (from the Lion King) so really it could be anything...

Giddy Up!

7 Nov 2006

Today is Cup Day. My favourite day of the whole year!

The newspaper is 68 pages long today (not much news then) and 24 of them are all about the Melbourne Cup.

It's 9:00 am, Alan has taken the day off work and is taking the kids to school. I've got the form and a pile of tab tickets. We only bet on the horses one day a year, but I have a flutter on every race today, and then we frock up and head over to my great friend Ronelle's deck.

She gets the big screen out and the projector, we have champagne and canapes all day. Since the kids have been at school it's been a bit of an inconvenience at 3pm to make sure they get home safely (they get the bus this day, the one day a year I don't pick them up).

This year I'll be betting on Yeats, Pop Rock and Zipping.

It doesn't get more Kath and Kim than that darls ...


There's nothing like wrapping yourselves in duct tape to cement a wonderful mother/daughter relationship.

Jussi, this looks perfect for you and Blaise.

Pot Belly

6 Nov 2006

Remember the green cardigan? Well here it is with a ribbed band on the bottom and around the neckline. Modelled on my pot bellied pot. Only the sleeves to go.

While we're doing shots of knitting in stupid places, here's the current state of the Rose of England Shawl. See the petal?

And finally, I've always thought Matthew McConaughy was eminently effable. His enthusiasm for the good times whilst filming in Queensland has only endeared him to me even more. I like 'em a bit rough (if only in my dreams)....

Kate Hudson doesn't look like she's touched the baby since she's been here. Fag in one hand, mobile in the other, with the nanny juggling the kid and the massive baby bag in the background....

I love how the Hollywood celebs come to remote Australian places and let it all hang out ... you should have seen the state of Pam Anderson on her recent visit .... out of it 24/7 .. and Paris Hilton had it off with one of our Idols (so they say) ...

Buy buy baby

I've been on a bit of a spending spree lately. My very bad.

A slew of handbags

My favourite:

Possible new knitting spot 1.

Possible new knitting spot 2.

New mirror for Blair's room:

New bedlinen for us:

Now if only I could afford one of these for the wall.

Please don't look at the soft furnishings in my house, they were here when I got here, and until I can afford to replace the whole lot, they're staying. They're embarrassingly nanna, and not in a chic way.

Luckily there's no judgement in the blogworld, everybody knows that, don't they duckies?

It's raining yarn, halelujiah it's raining yarn...

5 Nov 2006

Well not really, it's raining rain.

I saw a yarn the other day and I have to have some. But look at the price. I hope I get to touch it before I die.

Engineering Degree Required

I would consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent person. True, I'm not Stephen Hawking but I do okay ...

But Friday in the office I was faced with a challenge insurmountable by my intellect.

Faced with one of these:

Even after studying this:

If was a full three minutes before I ended up with this:

Delusions of professional adequacy - that's what I've got ..

Big Food Day

2 Nov 2006

Today wasn’t a very big food day for me. By that I mean I hardly ate anything I actually felt like eating, I only ate what was available to me, and only really to fill a gap, and even though it staved away my hunger, it didn’t make me feel good.

Which brought me to thinking, why does some food make me feel good? Food is fuel. If food were only fuel and we ate only what we required to nourish us, do you think there would be any McDonalds? Any king sized chocolate bars? Giant packets of chips? Soft Drink?

Of course food is much, much more than that. To me, food can be a comfort, a pleasure, a guilty secret, a social activity, a cultural statement, a mood enhancer, a burden to cook in the evenings, or my mortal enemy. Is this a female thing? Do men have these strange and complicated ‘relationships’ with food?

I often tell myself I need to lose 10-15 kilos. I’ve been telling myself this for eight years. I could do it of course by reducing dietary fat intake and increasing fruit and vegetables, exercising more. Instead of course, I have manicures and pedicures, and wear too much makeup and obsess over my crow’s feet. Now that I am nearly 39 it is becoming a health issue also, not just an aesthetic issue – my heart would love me if I lost those extra centimetres around my tummy.

What would happen if I did lose weight, would it change my life? Would that voice in my head still sound the same? Would it make such a difference to how I feel about myself that I question my relationships? (believe me I’ve seen more than once the woman who loses 25 kilos and immediately leaves her husband). What would I look like? Would I be happier?

And, why don’t I just do it? What’s really stopping me? Is it fear of failure, or fear of success? It’s certainly not fear of hunger, but is it a fear on missing out on all those wonderful tastes? And, why does it feel like the taste of sacher-torte and roaring forties blue is somehow more ‘indulgent’ and ‘better’ than the taste of fresh tomatoes or crunchy lettuce – I like all of those things. If I did stop eating those naughty indulgent foods what would I miss out on – just the taste? What makes me over-eat
at certain times of the day? Does thinking about those foods in terms of ‘naughty’ or ‘indulgent’ make them more attractive?

If I had the answers to any of those questions I’d be a very successful weight loss counsellor. But first I’d have to lose 15 kilos.

Ah, food and me. Me and food. It’s complicated.

Is your relationship with food complicated?

Anyway, all that crap’s not really the point of what I wanted to say – it just kind of poured out of me.

All I originally planned on saying was: this is what I ate today vs what I would have liked to eat today….


What I would have liked:

Traditional Turkish breakfast like I had in Turkey in high summer; toasted baguette slices, unsalted butter, plain yogurt, honey, watermelon, fetta and olives. With strong skim flat white.

What I actually had:
Handful of jelly beans.
Two assorted cream biscuits.
Instant coffee with full fat milk.


What I would have liked:

Salad of mixed leaves and chicken livers with a brandy-based reduction dressing.
Icy cold beer.

What I actually had (gave me indigestion):
Hamburger from lunchroom – grilled beef burger, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato sauce, tomato slices and tinned beetroot on a toasted white roll with margarine.

Instant Coffee with full fat milk (that’s all there is in the work fridge).

What I would have liked:
BBQ mixed seafood.
Mango, coriander and vodka salsa.
Potatoes Anna.
Crisp Green Salad.
Crunchy Dinner Roll.
Unsalted Butter
Two (maybe three) big glasses of Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough in NZ

Stilton and Scottish oat cakes
De Bortylis Botrytis Semillon or similar sticky

What I actually had:
Leftover roast chicken legs and potatoes.
Microwaved steamfresh vegetables
Instant gravy

What I would have liked to have:
Black Tea

What I actually had:
Black Tea

Now, if any of that made you hungry, head on over to this guy’s blog. Made to make your mouth water, and he sounds like a dish himself too!

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