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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

Do you like bruschetta?

27 Feb 2007

The marriage of fresh tomatoes (those ones from the vine or organic ones, not those grenades from the supermarket that seem to go from green to rotten without ever having a ripe stage) and fresh basil - who can beat it?

So if you like bruschetta, you'll love panzanella.

Basil, tomatoes, bocconcini, olives, capers if you like, torn pieces of ciabatta, olive oil, salt and balsamic (or other acidic liquid you like). Don't forget the salt. And the parsley.* Easy, fresh, clean flavours packed full of lycopenes and antioxidants which reportedly are good for your health.

Bruschetta in a bowl. Good tucker.

(The italians have a saying for a person/item who is very versatile - it translates as 'like parsley' - meaning it goes with everything.)

Well take that Katie

26 Feb 2007

Late one night, many years ago, I was sitting on the porch of a log cabin in upstate New York, near a little town called Monticello. I was a summer camp counsellor, looking after adult campers with severe disabilities, partly for respite care, partly to give the poor bastards a holiday. I was sitting with Katie, a big horsey girl from North Yorkshire with an accent so thick I could barely understand a single word she said. McDonald's was a novelty to her, since in the village from whence she came had none, so on our days off she would insist on visiting McDonald's so she could get an extra large 'cork' with 'nor arse'. It was always a struggle for the staff to understand her as well.

In any case, back to the porch. We were making friendship bracelets out of embroidery cotton bought from the local walmart that day, after our trip to McDonald's and the movies. She was showing me how to weave them.

She said to me :

"you're not very dextrous wiv your 'ands are ye?" I didn't really know what to say really. It's not a subject that comes up much.

But I thought about it last night while I pinned this thing out. Why just take a look at this Katie, wherever you are.

(Don't ask me why my back's to the camera. I thought it looked better that way - maybe I was mistaken.)

(One more thing; because I substituted the webs, spiders and diamonds for the plain old diamonds in the book pattern, does that make me a shawl designer now?)

Knitting - my frenemy

25 Feb 2007

I love my knitting. I hate my knitting. My knitting loves me, but is destroying me. Knitting isn't my friend, nor my enemy. It's a frenemy.

What am I banging on about? My knitting has been a bit of a problem for me lately. My husband absolutely hates it. My housework doesn't get done. I don't get enough sleep. I don't exercise. I spend too much time on the computer and at the needles. I really really spend too much time knitting. But I love it all the same.

It's all getting a bit out of hand. I need a strategy. Something has got to go. (I wonder if I'll miss him? lol).

I also spent hours trawling the blogs this morning and, like a fashion magazine, they only made me feel unacceptable and ugly.

The Shetland Tea Shawl - blocking. Absoeffinglutely (a technical term) beautiful - I didn't even get bored in the end, I just couldn't wait to block it right from the first stitch. Three weeks exactly (if you take away the two nights spent camping sans knitting) start to finish. I simply could not put it down.

Next! As you know, I too have been thinking about the swingy coats (not the big circular phildar one everyone else is doing), this one:

And, while I'm at it, the Stella McCartney thing I like isn't the one Cameron Diaz has been wearing, it's this one (and there's a funnel necked one I can't find a picture of at this moment but it's good too):

So, in order to make one that won't make me look like the side of a bus (with bigger boobs), I bought the pattern for this:

I'm about to cast on in some recycled wool I bought ages ago when I first met Donni, and she was pimping yarn more vigorously. It's from the rare yarns company, and I was conned into buying 10 balls of it from her to go in a knitalong with her et al, for the wrap vest thing I didn't even really like much - and one she never made herself. (ssshh, she doesn't know I know). That seems like such a long time ago now, and we've become great friends - I'm not just a customer any more.

I also have some predictions for two current celebrity dilemmas.

Britney should adopt Anna Nicole's baby.
Lindsay Lohan should go out with Pete Doherty so Kate Moss can get back with Jefferson Hack.

Okay then, I'm off to knit. As you can see, I'm feeling a bit out of my mind today.

The Saturday Dump

24 Feb 2007

Late last Thursday night I filled my online cart at Janette's Rare Yarns ebay store in the UK with six balls of kidsilk haze at $11 usd a ball (jelly, splendour and that new purple) and a full packet of all seasons cotton (lilac) - discontinued colour $22usd a pack. Postage on the ksh was free, and the whole lot cost me about $120 AUD. Yesterday morning (that's six days people) it all came, plump and ripe and ready for eating. You cannot do better than that. Janette's Rare Yarns are so wonderful it's hard to beleive they're real.

If I filled my cart at it's competitor in Australia I would have paid

6 balls of ksh at $26.00 per ball = $156.00
10 balls of all seasons cotton = $147.50
shipping (free if over $200) = 0.00
TOTAL = $303.50

I'd be more than happy to buy locally if they weren't robbing me blind.

Still, I probably should have bought groceries with the money.

While we're in the kitchen, we bought a new kettle. You can see the salt tripod in the reflection. And my green tshirt. Luckily you can't see any more because I am only wearing undies with the tshirt. The less said about that sight the better.

My daughter Blair, the supermodel. (Remember I said I was going to sew something?)

Oh, and we're getting very close now! I really want to finish this today/toight.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's knitting. (yeah right)

And, from the same place (if I recall correctly, I've done a lot of clickety clich this morning) - I think I shall perish if I don't knit this phildar swingy jacket thing - grey/charcoal of course, which I think is similar to (possibly derivative of) the great Stella McArtney's various swing coats and knitted jackets, which of themselves are probably derivative of something else. And so on. See that word? 'Derivative' - they don't teach words like that in accountancy school*, I found that out all by myself. Whoda thunk huh?

(*Well, actually they do. But they're talking about these ones, not the artistic licence theme)

Stay tuned over the next few days if you're interested in circumspect rambling about my career dilemma, what's been good eating around here lately and why I'm googling for finance/media jobs in San Fransisco and Stamford.

Stitch n Bitch today. Yay!!!

Way too close for comfort

19 Feb 2007

This post was going to be about what an amazingly wonderful weekend we all had. Our school mothers got together and organised a camping weekend at Lake Conjola. Two of the women have onsite vans at the caravan park down there, and more than 15 familiies went down for two nights at the weekend.

On Saturday, we went to a little private beach called Killarney, and the boys brought the speedboats around, and the jetskis. To me, it was like 'lifestyles of the rich and famous'. The kids had turns on the biscuit and the hotdog and the adults piggy-backed with the experienced mum on the jetskis. The kids had an absolute ball.

We took the chairs and the picnics and the sunscreen. It was hot, and we all were having a tremendous fun in the sun day. We were all excited about what a great time we were all having, vowing to do it every term or at least once a year.

Here is a picture of us all.

We stayed until late in the afternoon, went back to the van park, got the cheese platters happening, drank wine, cooked barbies, played cricket, let the kids run aound until it was time for bed. Then we sat around the fire and talked rubbish until the wee hours.

The next morning (yesterday) we got up and the boys took the boats around to the little private beach for some of the group to meet them there again. The first car went down, and was turned away at the gate by the emergency police.

A 14 year old boy had just had his head severed in the very same water that this picture shows by a propeller. Less than 24 hours after all our precious babies were splashing around near the speedboats.

He wasn't with our group, thank heaven, but he was still someone's baby. If you're so inclined, you might even pray for this kid and his family. I know we all will.

Delusions of adequacy

16 Feb 2007

I am seriously delusional if I think I can finish this by tonight, as previously hoped. I forgot about edgings being so incredibly long. But, I have at least started it, and this is how far I've come.

Those of you very familiar with a gathering of lace book may notice that the centre lace pattern is not the diamonds one shown in the book, and they would be right. I replaced this pattern with my favourite shetland lace stitch design, the spider webs and diamonds (I think) pattern. As luck would have it, the repeat stitch numbers were exactly the same so I didn't have to do any calculations. I was going to use a different edging as well, but the beech leaf is so lovely I just went back to the pattern as written. What do you think?

I may as well show you something else while I'm at it. My evil twin raised her ugly head again recently and forced the rational me into thinking we may be able to sew something. Again. Let's see if I can overcome seven simple seams. I hope so, as I think these wide leg pants are going to look great on my daughter, with a matching head something (possibly band, possibly triangular scarf)

There is a crimson in this fabric that matches perfectly with some leftover country silk I have from my own lucy in the sky cardigan. I think a one skein wonder might be the go to match these little duds.

However, at this stage, that's putting the cart before the horse.

If you're looking for me over the weekend, I'll be camping down

A friend in need is a pain in the @$#%!!

13 Feb 2007

That's always been my motto. I'm hoping, however, that it isn't your motto.

Because I really really want to make this.

To do so I need this.

Therefore, I am in need of one of these.

Any takers? There'll be no cost to yourself, and you'll be rewarded with chocolate and yarn!

Remember this?

11 Feb 2007

I've written up the pattern on pdf if you would like it. Click to your left and then at the bottom of the screen you can download the file.

There were pictures on the pdf file, but they don't come up when you download it - I'm working on that.

If you would like a copy of the file with pictures in it, just email me and I'll send one to you.

The great re-branding

Of course it's a marketing trick, but I've re-branded myself. That's why I've been alluding to change and limbo lately, I've been rallying emails with Michelle of knitty bitty who has kindly done all the work. Thank you Michelle!

I've suprised myself this week with a startling revelation. If you make a real effort to knit a bit whenever you get a spare five minutes during the day and ONLY WORK ON ONE PROJECT, you can get quite a lot of knitting done in ten days. Fancy that eh?

I started the shetland tea shawl from a gathering of lace Friday last, and I am up to the edging already! I'll show you a photo, even though it just looks like a pile of fluff.

I'm hoping to get this finished by next Friday, which would make it a two week project - I'm getting quicker with my shawls.

You learn something every day

10 Feb 2007

You'd think that with an activity as simple and as old as knitting that after a while you'd know all there is to know.

I always find it wonderfully refreshing when I read some of the knitblog alphas say they love looking at the blogs and seeing what everyone else is up to. I think to myself 'why do that, when people are looking at your blog for inspiration, aka, something to copy'. I'm not talking about stealing or copyright here, so easy tiger.

I'm talking about change, the organic way a craft develops over the years, a trick shared here, an idea shared there, all coming together to form a collective journey of technique advancement and improvement of the craft for the sake of itself alone.

For example; they didn't used to have circular needles. Therefore, any circular shawl or lace or whatever had to be limited by the number of stitches you could squeeze onto a set of dpn's. Otherwise it was just square knitting back and forth in various ways to grow a shawl.

With the invention of circular needles came the wondrous possibilities of circular shawls that were much bigger than doilies on dpn's. Later came the idea of socks on two circulars, and even socks on one circular.

Today, as I was flicking throught the endless magazine that is the craft interntet world, I came across a trick so fantastic I couldn't wait to try it. I had to share it with you.

Did you know that you can make hand-painted yarn stripe vertically up your scarf fairly easily. And how good does it look? (read the April tip)

Hold the phone!

Oh my. EXTREMELY good-looking builder just came around to quote us on some window replacements. EXTREMELY. GOOD. LOOKING.

Knitting at my house ladies?

(What is it about impending middle age that is turning me into a pervy middle aged housewife? Is it boredom or increased testosterone?)

Don't it always seem to go .......

9 Feb 2007

Should I ever treat myself to another weekend at the Observatory Hotel in Sydney, I won't be able to crash this person's knitting group like a hippo, con her into downing superstrength champagne cocktails afterwards under the guise of 'I wonder if this bar has any ambience', horrify her daughter by being uninvited, drunk and slightly disorderly in her own home, avail myself of the hospitality of her bemused husband (and his wine collection) not once but twice, get tearful (as if we didn't know that was coming after all that booze) in a noodle bar and drink apple martini well into the wee hours with this person.

I'd have to go to New Zealand for the weekend now in order to do that. I imagine she's releived.

Jussi's gone back to New Zealand. The other day I was having a crafty shopping day on King St Newtown with a friend and we stopped for a quick shandy at the pub near the station. SSK would have been in full swing about 50 metres away. I wanted to text her so I could lead her astray again. It was a bit sad.

Also, my neighbour moved out. You know the one. The one who knocks on your door and says 'fancy a driveway drink? Meet you out the front in five minutes'. And then you go inside and grab a few things, open the garage door and, voila, behold the vista before you!

And she knits and crafts and has a mind as sharp as a tack too.

Good luck to the both of you girls. I hope you both find great happiness in your new lives.

Subversive Knitting

7 Feb 2007

I don't much go in for stitch markers. Dangly bits getting in the way. Prissy unnecessary frippery, when the task at hand is much more serious.

Why would you bother making them when you're bound to recieve at least a couple of you join any sort of knitting gift exchange thing.

Why would you fork out money for them if you know you could just chuck a plastic spotlight bead on a bit of tiger tail and do it yourself for peanuts?

Why indeed.

I present my very own lace stitch markers. They are in fact, heavily derivative of this. So, if you see this Lara, email me your snail addy and I'll send you a set if you want.

For the rest of you, if you want a set it'll be five bucks into my paypal account. Email me and we'll talk.


3 Feb 2007

I have no internet connection at home. There is something wrong with the line. I am extremely upset at telstra.

There's a lot going on, but you'll have to wait. And so will I.

Dare I risk getting sacked and blog from work? Maybe I'll try to do that next week, but alas there will be no pictures.

see you when it's better.


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