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

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Sideways Scallop Edged Scarf

Sideways Lace Scarf

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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

In praise of the slow knit

23 Jan 2007

When I find myself between the larger projects, mulling over whether to start Frost Flowers and Leaves, Hidcote Garden, Sarcelle, or something from Victorian Lace, perhaps I should take on the nupps, or maybe even a sweater or a cardigan. For these times, like now, I like to have a safe, slow, languid knit to work on to help me decide.

You know, the kind of knit where you don't need the pattern any more. Where the repitition acts as a mantra for your knitting medidation. Where your mind can ruminate through it's inner catalogue of it's list of desires of unknitted and mysteriously inviting projects. The kind of knit you don't fall out of love with way before it's finished.

It should be long, made from something special, and ideally useful in it's own right when it too becomes complete in it's own time. It must be a low pressure knit, just knitting for it's own sake.

nd, when something as lovely as this emerges from under the needles, I think it makes the whole experience of knitting a beautiful thing. Don't you?

Graft (and corruption)

21 Jan 2007

The grafting at my house co-incided with the resignation of the CEO at the local government body for which I work.

You may remember a few months ago our offices were 'raided' by the Independent Commission Against Corruption ("good morning public servants. Pens down please, we wish to examine your files. We are authorised to do so under subsection z of the a to z act, nineteen o one. Please place your documents in a neat pile on the right hand side of your desk. You will, of course, be required to fill out a b23 form on your way out. Refreshments will be served on level 2, and we apologise for the inconvenience.")

Anyway, the sudden departure of our fearless leader is claimed to have nothing to do with the ICAC investigation. And how does the city feel? Rudderless, I imagine. What will become of us?

OK, quitting the sarcasm now, after all it is the lowest form of wit. The grafting at our house was of the knitting kind. Purl yarns had a stash buster buster sale earlier on in the month, and I bought a hank of handmaiden cashmere silk 2 ply in the vintage colourway.

Oh my good lord there are no words to describe the lofty softness of this yarn. And the way the colours blended gently from one to another, with a flash of something something here and there, it was pure joy to admire in the hank.

But what to make of it? I wanted to really show the colours, and I figured at 300 or so yards it would need to be lacy to get a decent sized scarf or wrap from it. I hand wound the ball of yarn, in the hope it would speak to me as I did so. I'm so glad I did this, as I became intimately acquainted with every inch of it before I even started knitting it. I was a little bit in love when I finished winding the ball, and in fact, the yarn had indeed spoken to me. It wanted to be knitted in a vintage lace pattern in tribute to it's name, and it wanted to be knitted sideways.

Here's what she wanted to be.

If you've ever wondered what you might make of a single hank of something special, I'd recommend this pattern. It's airy, quick, and the simplicity of the lace really shows off any varigation you might have in the colours - something which can be quite elusive when knitting lace with handpainted yarns, particularly those with distinct and contrasting colour changes.

Who designed the pattern?

Why, me of course!

If you're interested in hearing more about it, leave a comment and I'll document it. It's quite fun, it's got a lot of stitches and only about 60 or so rows. And a great big graft down the centre.

I'm very pleased with how it came out actually. What do you think?

And, that's not the only finished item for 2007!

In November last year I recieved 5 balls of Muench Touch me for my birthday from some of my knitting pals. It was for the vintage velvet scarf from Scarf Style.

Never before had I coveted a knitted item like I coveted this scarf.

But I am a process knitter. And to me, the process of knitting this scarf was tortuous. Firstly I couldn't get the pattern right, and ripped back two full balls of the yarn twice. Secondly, the fluff emanating from the re-knitted balls went up my nose and in my eyes and all over my clothes and the carpet and drove me up the wall. Thirdly, it just would not end.

But I picked it up on Thursday last week and persevered. I really really wanted the scarf, and I've committed myself to a bit of FIFO (first in first out) WIP project mangement too. And I finally got the knitting done.

So, what do you do with almost a hundred US dollars of yarn knitted into a scarf? The instructions say to felt it in a hot wash and then put it in the tumble dryer. The ballband says dry clean only. Oh I was terrified. Terrified I say. I consulted the lord of the grunt and received a grunt of a reply. It was almost midnight. The clock was ticking.

I closed my eyes and set the machine. I closed my eyes when the cycle ended and put it in the dryer.


It's so shiny and smooth it is very difficult to photograph the after shots. I couldn't be happier with it. So, it feels like my birthday all over again, thank you to D and D and S and J for making me a very happy knitabulous.

And finally, there's something going on across the road. I don't want to talk about it.

One way to get a life

18 Jan 2007

You must look at this link. It's hilarious.

I'd have to get rid of most of the 170 friends though - that's just too many.

Treading Water

14 Jan 2007

I'm just treading water at the moment, you'll see why soon I hope..

Anyhow, remember when I was talking about knitting the Rose of England Shawl? Well, I had about 12 rows to go. Dead set. 12 measly rows. And, somehow, in true knitabulous form, I managed to do something that made it FUBAR.

I despaired. I consulted the oracle of women in the knitalong. I decided to rip it back to the very start. After all, it was only knitting. Just time lost, that's all. I put it in a bag until I felt ready.

A few months later I put a marker where I thought the start of the row was and ripped back about 10 rows or so. Then I spread it out on the floor.

Umm. OK, maybe I don't have to rip the WHOLE thing.

(ps: It's back in the bag until I'm in the frame of mind to pick up all those stitches and try and work out what row I'm on. I'll get back to you.)

300th post - not a lightweight

3 Jan 2007


I love etiquette.

Fork in the left hand, knife in the right, never fork in the right hand (guilty? Me too), crook the pinky don’t point it, hold the champagne flute by the stem not the glass, never cut a dinner roll with a knife and only butter it as you go, deal the cards to yourself last, don’t double dip, shake hands with the right hand, always say please at the dinner table and thank you and excuse me, take your hat off indoors – all these little everyday rituals I just adore. I love the idea that there are codes of behaviour passed on from previous generations, and though some things do get lost in modern life, I believe it would be a shame if we abandoned good form altogether.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t judge other people on their own etiquette, I just like the rules for myself.

But the etiquette of blog – well I must admit I’m all in a muddle.


When I first started this blog, I didn’t know whether it was bad form to just list the blogs you liked in your sidebar or not. Did you have to ask permission first? What if the blog owner didn’t want the likes of me linking to them? Even worse, did linking the glitterati make you a sycophant – the most pathetic of all creatures? I wasn’t sure, so I just linked away willy nilly, hoping that someone would ask to be removed if they really felt strongly about it.

Comments. Did you just take it upon yourself to comment on someone’s blog? Wasn’t that kind of ‘familiar’ for a stranger? I wasn’t sure. I’m still not sure.

After a while the question of how much of myself I was going to put out there on the blog arose. After all, there are only so many ‘here, look at my knitting’ posts you can do and keep yourself interested, unless of course your knitting is particularly outstanding, which mine definitely isn’t.

I decided to go with a walk in the shoes blog. Sometimes it’s dull, sometimes I’m cranky, sometimes muddled and sometimes emotional. I might be political one day and celebrity gaga the next. I may not really know what I’m talking about. It’s the real me you read about here.

I also had to think about the possibility that some people wouldn’t like me when I started this blog. And I’m glad I did, because otherwise it would have been an even bigger shock than it was when the first troll came along.

I’m nearly forty. I have a family and a job and a life independent of my hobbies, one of which is this blog. I can be outspoken, inappropriate, rash, glib and I often speak without thinking. And that’s me. Take it or leave it. If you take it, then you’ll also find I’m loyal, generous, supportive, sensitive and kind. If you leave it we’ll both still wake up in the morning unchanged.

I don’t often think about the blog in the context of it’s audience. Somehow that would seem kind of contrived to me, after all isn’t this just a rambling journal? Of course, if it is just a journal then why do I have to put it on the internet for all to see? I can’t fully answer this question myself, but what I can say is that I’m mature enough to know that if I put it out there, I should be prepared to wear any criticism it may get. My son has a saying ‘whoever smelt it dealt it’, but in this case if I deal it and you smell it, well then you’re of course welcome to say so in any forum you like. I guess…

Logically speaking, the converse should also be true. If you deal it and I smell it, then is it okay for me to say so on my blog?
But are there any unwritten lines which you cannot cross?

For example, if someone in the blogsphere named their newborn Ivana Humpalot (thanks Austin) then would it be okay to ridicule it on your blog?

I note that the catarinabonetdesigns website and mass email has had everyone in stitches, and it is possibly only a joke, but would it be okay to laugh if it was on a knit blog?

You knit what was closed down this year allegedly due to the difficulties the authors had with designers taking offence to their opinions and the possibility of related legal action against them. Maybe they just got sick of being mean. But didn’t we all love you knit what? Did they cross a line when they called a designers children the spawn of satan? Or do you think if it’s funny enough then there are no boundaries?

How about grammar? Is it okay to poke fun at someone’s poor education or lack of writing ability?

Banality? Is it okay to point out how boring someone else is?

There is a yahoo group called knitflame whose sole purpose is to ridicule the posts on the knitlist. Which can be amusing, but it seems that knitflame itself have kind of a ‘hazing’ and seems to be controlled by a select few who verbally crucify newcomers if they don’t conform to the secret rules. And they rarely actually find anything particularly worthy on the knitlist any more that hasn’t been ridiculed before.

How far can you go for a cheap laugh?

If the blogsphere is like a real society, then does it have a social hierarchy? Are some blogs living in the manor whilst others are ploughing in the fields?

Blogs certainly pick and choose who they mingle with in the cyberworld. But can bogan blogs really sit cheek by jowl with the aristocratic blogs? And if they could, would either want to?

Is it like a sorority system in those American movies where the ‘it’ blogs belittle and humiliate the ‘loser’ blogs? Are some blogs untouchable, like the blog Mafia?

It is natural human behaviour to mix with those who we most enjoy, and that usually is those most like ourselves or whom we admire. The diversity of human nature dictates that we don’t admire everyone, so in the mix of it most everybody gets a friend or two, thank heaven. Is the blog world mirroring society in forming subgroups and hierarchies too?

I would suspect it is, even though we all like to think of ourselves as accepting and valuing of all others.

I must admit there have been times when I’ve read blog posts that have stirred strong emotions, and not all of them touchy feely ones either. I’ve seen blatant racist remarks which have made my blood boil, anti-gay comments which have rankled against my sensibilities. I’ve read about overbearing mothers who have taken playground battles to ridiculous lengths, shaken my head at valetudinarians, the vain and preposterous, the judgemental, the holier than thou bloggers, the officious, and the downright elitist.

In these situations, I have often wanted to make my opinion known, particularly those involving race and gays - but mostly have just done the mature (cowardly?) thing and clicked away. I remember Billy Bragg (oh heart) being interviewed once about racism and to paraphrase he said ‘the racist is usually the person standing next to you at a party, saying outrageous things. But the insidious thing is that if you let them get away with it they think you agree with them. So, don’t let them get away with it, it’s your responsibility to say something’.

But in cyberspace everything is permitted. There is no censorship, and this is both a good and a bad thing. And, in the words of Voltaire “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. Which, by the way, works better if it goes both ways.

I’m certainly not perfect, nor would I want to be.

But guess what? None of us are. And that’s what makes us all such a beautiful mess.

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