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

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Tour De France finale

31 Jul 2007

I just couldn't keep up in the end. I personally know at least one cyclist (not from the TDF of course, just a local lad) who has taken anabolic steroids - and from what I heard they made him get a tiny willy. Steroid use was rife at the local university in the sports science faculty when I went there some twenty years ago - I can't imagine why that situation would have improved. I wonder why doping is so common in cycling? Or do you think it's endemic of all individual sports?

Perhaps they should just stop testing. The playing field would still be level - just not a natural level.

I hate sport in general, I thought I'd give the Tour De France a look this year mainly because I love Meg, but look what happened. A shambles.

Anyhow, I have to say I disqualified most of my own competitors in the TDF knitalong for failing various knitability tests - mostly because they were unable to actually knit themselves and because they had become so boring for me to knit they were abandoned in favour of the glamour puss below.

Hearty congratulations to all of the participants who finished, may I toast you with some champagne and toasted brioche smeared with a little foie gras? That's my sort of Tour De France. Perhaps cider if I were in Normandy. But no cheval. Not deliberately anyway.

So, preezenting my very own TDF polka dot jersey winner. All the others fell over, so she just sailed past even though she isn't yet finished.

It's such a shame that photographs of lace knitting on or even off the needles are no indication whatsoever of how the item looks. Even blocked lace looks 'flat' when photographed.

This colour, this yarn, this design - it's all about texture. Seriously. The choice of the Louet Gems fingering and the incredible depth of colours in the dye job - light just gets sucked into that yarn like the finest of silk velvets - there's no lustre but the depth is mesmerising.

I haven't seen this yarn before, and I love how they can get a merino to be so smooth it feels almost like cotton.

Once again, the credits are rolling. I am so grateful for this gig.

Pattern: Jae's wonderful palawan shawl (I don't know it's official name yet)
Availability: Sometime after I finish this test knit and someone prises it out of my hands and posts it back to Jae for inclusion in the pattern leaflet. Will be available through her local yarn store, check her blog for details.
Yarn: Louet Gems merino fingering weight in beautiful handdyed colour from Jae herself. A wonderful peacock green, emerald in places. Amazing.

And I think my broadband connection speed comes back tomorrow. Husband, if you're reading this, please don't do that again. If you get an idea for a huge downloadable software package in August, why not finish the bedroom painting instead? Just a thought.


A weekend of booze and shoes

30 Jul 2007

Friday Night

These shoes tried to kill me. Or perhaps it was the champagne. Or the dancing. Certainly it couldn't have been the food, which was quite okay, considering the quantities they had to get out in such a short time. It must have been the shoes - for I felt half dead on Saturday. (Got my mug in the social pages though.)


Usually I buy winter boots that say F me. This year I bought omes that say F off. I won't ever be going back.

Saturday Night

Nuff said. And these didn't try to murder me either.


The other great use for what comes off the sheep's back.

On the knitting front may I just say this; booze and shoes.

Manic Street Preachers - A Design For Life (Live on Later..)

25 Jul 2007

Sad Song Wednesday 27/7

Sad Song Wednesday

Well that came around quickly.


This weeks theme is about how different a song can be interpreted when we know why it was written, or the fate of the person who wrote it. Sometimes it's more about what you know of the band or lyricist than the words themselves that makes a song sad.

For example, Eric Clapton's song (excuse my while I puke, he's not a favourite of mine) 'If I saw you in heaven' is extremely cheesy. But knowing that his three year old fell off a hotel balcony and died puts the whole thing in a new light.

INXS 'suicide blonde' and 'never tear us apart' became incredibly ironic after the tragic death of Micheal Hutchence and inevitably Paula Yates who literally killed herself from a broken heart, even though they were written years before these events.

(The fact that the band insulted not only his memory but taste itself by hosting a reality tv show about the replacement of Micheal Hutchence - what a pathetic last ditch effort at a comeback that was.)

Not to mention the words 'and I swear that I don't have a gun' sung by Curt Cobain, when we found out that clearly he did have a gun, and was not afraid to use it.

There was an obscurish band in the eighties in Australia called Died Pretty. They sang a song called 'DC' - it was a bit repetitive but still quite successful, but under the poppyness of it there was much tragedy, because it was written about his dead friend. It's one of my favourites.

Who could forget the pain we felt for Daniel Johns from Silverchair when he wrote Ana's song about his struggle with anorexia nervosa? The haunting lyric 'that's when Ana wrecks your life' - it is a simple lyric, not that clever really, but the poor boy was only about 17 when he wrote it.

But this week, the favourite sad song on this topic for me is the Manic Street Preachers, 'a design for life' not only because of the disappearance of the mentally tortured Richey Edwards, but also for the way the lyrics were twisted by the masses to mean quite the opposite of what they intended.

From wikipedia:
The bulk of the lyrics were written solely by Wire including number two hit single "A Design for Life", which became a working class anthem, and established the band alongside the other premier British bands of the day like Oasis. The band's image changed yet again, inadvertently they gained a casual, lad culture image much like that of Oasis as A Design for Life's message was roundly misinterpreted ('We don't talk about love/We only want to get drunk' was intended as a scathing critique of those who believe working classes have no cultural or emotional depth. This line was wrongly adopted by many as a drinking anthem).

Such a shame:

Comments please - about songs you know to be sad because of what happened to the songwriter or the band.

There are so many ...

Psst - come here. There's someone who wants to meet you

23 Jul 2007


My name is Storm and I have come to live with Knitabulous and her family.

Wish me luck.

Die Happy !!

21 Jul 2007

Fantastic things have been happening here - magical things.

Things that deserve lots of exclamation marks!!

Firstly, I am no longer on the scrap heap. I am the proud owner of half a job. Half a proper, career job with the Department of Education and Training - I start on the 1st August. Oh happy day.

Secondly, my baby sister bought a house down here - she's going to ditch Willoughby and embrace seaside living! Viva la seachange! I'll be seeing my niece whenever I want, I'm going to be her daycare picker upper on Thursdays and I will be able to spend time with my sister whenever we feel like it! More moll shops, more ridiculously schlocky midnight oil duets in the car ('when I'm locked in my room, I just want to scream. Only the strong - insert air drum playing as appropriate - only the strong>. Oh even happier day.

Even better, she's asked me to help her decorate her new house, as she's in a true federation style (typical of the area round channel nine in Willoughby) and she's going to a completely different style of house. Excitement plus, a new project!

Yarn came for the palawan shawl, I am frantically knitting it because I want it finished yesterday.

Meg says I'm a rocking girl blogger - thank god for that I thought I was enjoying being on the shelf until it started to get a bit lonely up there. I felt a bit like the comic book guy on the simpsons.

I'm accompanying Donni to meet some Sydney knitters this afternoon - looking forward to the food. Oh, and the company of course! ;-)

And another thing. Remember when I said this "But if I ever get that obsessed with colour scheme software and knitted mitred squares; just shoot me."

Nine done, fourteen to go.

Well they're not mitred, but now would be a good time. At least I'd die happy.


18 Jul 2007

I've been reading some fresh blogs lately, and I like to see a regular feature on a blog.

My totally favourite one is called ROOT SHOOT MARRY and can be found here. I am completely jealous I didn't think of this idea, it's a pearler.

Anyhow, I'd like to do a regular feature on this blog and it shall be hereafter known as:


I love me a sad song. A sad song with a brilliant acid lyric, my favourite.

I'll tell you a little story. When I was about 22 I was in love. He was in love with me too, just not as much as I was with him. It was the kind of love that whenever he was with me, my chemical make-up changed. He made me laugh, there were indoor fireworks, and ultimately it was doomed. The relationship died a slow agonising painful death, not helped at all by my own inability to let go.

But, even when we were on the rocks, we pretended we could be grown up about it. Well I pretended, he probably just didn't give a shit. We went to a Billy Bragg concert at the Coogee Bay Hotel right at the death, with another couple who brought with them a friend. A tall statuesque incredibly beautiful eighteen year old journalism studying friend. Who appeared to be no stranger to my boyfriend.

As the awful truth dawned on me during that concert, I stood listening to Billy Bragg sing about unionism, socialism, sexuality and love gone bad. When he finally got to 'the price I pay' I just stood there, alone among hundreds, with fat warm tears streaming uncontrollably down my face. No sobbing, no hysterics, just deep deep sadness.

Strangely, he noticed (the boyfriend, not Billy Bragg) and stood behind me, with his arms around me. It wasn't symbolic of a future, more a mourning of the past.

Anyhow, I can still feel the pain when I hear that song.

Billy Bragg The Price I Pay lyrics

My friend said she could see no way ahead
And I was probably better off without you
She said to face up to the fact that you weren't coming back
And she could make me happy like you used to
But I'm sorry to say I turned her away
Knowing everything she said was true
And that's the price I pay for loving you the way that I do
There's something inside that hurts my foolish pride
To visit the places we used to go together
Not a day goes by that I don't sit and wonder why
Your feelings for me didn't last forever
Girl I love you so much that sometimes it's such
I'd walk a mile with a stone in my shoe
And that's the price I pay for loving you the way that I do
That's the price I pay for loving you the way that I do
So keep that phone out of my way for the things I must say
Are empty if you don't believe they're true
And that's the price I pay for loving you the way that I do
That's the price I pay for loving you the way that I do
I love you so much that baby it's such
I'd walk a mile with a stone in my shoe
And that's the price I pay for loving you the way that I do

What's the saddest song you've ever heard? The song that pulled at your heartstrings and made you feel either sorry for yourself, sorry for the songwriter or sorry for the person being writen about? The first song that made you cry?

I invite you to share your sad song on your blog or in the comments here on SAD SONG WEDNESDAY

Dot point weekend

17 Jul 2007

My internet's slowed to dialup speed thanks to he who shall not be named deciding he had an immediate need to download ubuntu even though it's been left it on my desktop unused for ten days (and counting). Evil telecommunications previously monopolist now oligopolist has decided enough is enough and now I have SLOW internet.

So, no pics, just dot points.

* Went to Canberra. Could move there tomorrow.
* Met Bells - most pleasant experience.
* Saw Knit1Blog1 exhibition. White walls, glass boxes, beautifully sparsely placed knits. A wonderful celebration of Canberra knitters, with some projector screened interactive pc's to look at the blogs.
* Went to the Bus Depot Markets on Sunday - it was like the craft fair all over again. But instead of yuk coffee they had mulled wine and spiced cider - yummm.
* In the spirit of the Tour De France knitalong - I bought a beautiful pink and green toile (from France) baguette basket, pics will arivee when camera meets some new batteries and I'm feeling patient with the dialup speed thing.
* I also bought a strip of gorgeous blue and butter yellow toile fabric for some drawstring bags or perhaps a bolster cushion.

* The pattern for the palawan shawl came! I'm waiting on the yarn and cannot wait to get this started! If the yarn doesn't come today I'm going to start one of my own anyway.
* The MS3 clue 3 is finished. It doesn't look so much like a face now that the upper patterns have kind of overshadowed it.
* All other projects have been shelved due to the frustration of having nothing finished in weeks.

* Do you think that having so many people on Ravelry is going to enhance the community or detract from the really talented contributors and truly beautiful items on the site?

* Do you think that the people who do the most whoring on ravelry will ruin it for the quiet achievers?

* Do you think that Ravelry embodies the best of knitters' communism - equal for everyone - and therefore the uninspiring and ordinary should be seen cheek by jowl with the amazing and inspirational work?

*Isn't one man's meat another man's poison, so what I find inspiring you might find ordinary?

Requirements for successful career in Real Estate

13 Jul 2007

1. Driver's licence.
2. Ability to use a key.

Excerpted from last week's local paper property guide:

This magnificent home offers a true lifestyle experience. (Blah blah blah) four generous bedrooms all with biw's, ensuite to main. Fully renovated kitchen and bathroom.

(Blah blah blah )
Living room opens up to a large view absorbing balcony.

The house is in a quiet street and situated on the block to ensure total privacy from the neighbours, which are small.

Now I don't mind the small neighbours, but I'd be mortally afraid of a view-absorbing balcony.

I am off to the nation's capital for the weekend, might take in the knit 1 blog 1 exhibition while I'm there and might catch up with a knitter or two as well if all goes to plan.

But right now I've got to get some socks and undies out of the dryer and into a suitcase.

Sayonara sisters.

When physics and knitting collide - the results aren't always good

12 Jul 2007

I'm trying to do random, but I just find it so hard. My personality dictates that everything has to have symmetry, it has to add up, there must be a method.

But I'm making a big effort. The beads above are a case in point. I'm using them for my Mystery Stole 3, stringing two tiny beads with a .75mm crochet hook as I go. Go here if you'd like to know how this is done. If you look closely, you can see that there are three different kinds of grey metallic beads and one kind of sparkly bead. They are good quality glass seed beads, bought from here at the Darling Harbour Show.

The random bit goes like this. I fish around with the crochet hook until I pick up a charcoal bead. Then I pick up a sparkle, and they go onto the stole together.

See? Random. And symmetry. At the same time.

Anyhow, as I've been fishing around in the little pile of beads I've been feeling quite frustrated. I felt like the beads were running away from the hook. It was quite annoying. Stab stab stab. No bead. Stab stab stab. No bead.

I mentioned this to my husband. He looked at what I was doing (it's rare people).

'I can see what's going on there' he says 'after you've picked up a bead, you're dropping that steel stick and it's being pulled against the magnet on that black thing you've got the chart on, thus magnetising it. Then when you go fishing into the beads, which all have metal paint on them, sometimes the opposite polar effect is happening, and the hook is really repelling the beads.'

You know what? I think he's right.

Not to worry though, because the clue is done. Stage 2 of my own Tour De France complete.

Lantern Rouge

10 Jul 2007

Bonsoir mes amis!

I am competing for the polka dot jersey in the Tour De France knitalong, so I'm pleased to introduce vous to my team.


Form: Good
Chances of completion: Fair to good
King of the Mountain?: Hmm. Could be the clown of the race in the end.
French Connection: It has beads. I've never done them before, so I suspect, like Paris, that the road will be lined with dog shit. Merde.


After the Yarn Harlot joined, another 2700 people jumped on the bandwagon and together, they broke yahoo! groups. The harlot was knitter number 4000 and something, there are now around 6700 and I was knitter number 300 and something. She is totally copying me.

There has been some discussion about the theme of the shawl. Pink Lemon Twist suggested (weeks before the first clue) the yarn choice should be black or white. Everyone says 'oh I'm going to do it white for my daughter's upcoming wedding' Miriam goes 'hang on, you might want to see the theme before you go down that road, it might not be appropriate'.

The first and second clues are up, there has been some discussion about whether or not a face can be seen in the stole. People have surmised that it may be a court jester.

I shall leave it to you to decide whether this is a face or not.

Dear me. I hope she's not making 6700 people knit court jesters. That would be an ironic who's laughing at whom kind of situation, non?

Peacock Feathers shawl

Form: Average
Chances of completion: Fair to middle
King of the Mountain?: I don't think so. It's a little lightweight to be a king, perhaps the princess of the mountain might be a better title. I'm really only knitting her while waiting for the real peacock feathers to arrive.
French Connection: It's very Marie Antionette - and it looks like fondant.


Linen Stitch Transitions Swatches

This one is such a dark horse. It came from nowhere to suprise me one night and has been quite a captivating little rider. Stay tuned for developments on this competitor.

This may suprise me. It's a quick grower, showing great promise and is already half finished the race.


Any of these young riders would cut the throat of some of the above professionals to get a chance to wear a jersey in this year's race.

Will they have their way?


There will be a late entrant, one with the two week handicap. Unavoidable delays mean that the bicycle and rider have actually yet to meet, but here's hoping.


7 Jul 2007

There's a lot to know about knitting. Sometimes it seems that the more you think you know, the more there is to know. You know?

For example, did you know that there is a knitting stitch that produces a fabric so like weaving that it feels and looks like turkish silk carpet?

These swatches are the aforementioned and highly regarded bloomfield yarn, from the lovely Joan through the talented Jae. The feel of this knit fabric is so soft, I think that it reminds me of a silk cravat. So, I think I shall make me one.

My love affair with the feather and fan stitch and all her variations continues unabated.

And finally, I found a use for that tiny .75mm crochet hook I found in an op shop. I've used it to place the beads on as I go with the Mystery Stole 3.


Labels: , ,

Sign of the times

5 Jul 2007

Yesterday I had coffee with two girls.

Of the three of us, I was the only one capable of raising my eyebrows.

I should have been proud, but in reality I just felt ugly and unacceptable.

The way to my heart

3 Jul 2007

A cup of coffee and a good yarn.

Thank you Dyann for getting it all so right. Stitchy McYarnpants kitschy stitches is hilarious, the scarf is beautiful (see I wore it yesterday?) the yarn is so my taste - I see a pair of textured socks in there somewhere.

The best thing though has to be the coffee mug. It is really gorgeous. Long, 'waisted', the incredible bark-like texture at the bottom, beautiful glaze of ambiguous colour (almost grey, almost beige with the perfect amount of darker hotspots like a caramelised apple). And so BIG! Perfect for my jumbo sized heart starters.

What I like the most about it is that you made it. When I hold it I think, I 'know' who made this, and it makes it feel very special. Also, it doesn't hurt that the finish is so professional!

And no god-awful chocolate as a 'filler'. Which I'd still eat but regret later.

I have been thinking of getting a range of Denby pottery - I hope you do commissions - because I've totally changed my mind. Your mug is far superior to the Denby I've had my eye on.

Thank you Dyann, your gift was perfect.


watching the dolphins play

2 Jul 2007

I really do love it when the kids are home on holidays. I can say that in all honesty on Monday of the first week. Ask me again next week and we'll see.

School holidays means it's ok to stay up until midnight on Sunday night knitting seventy rows of the Mystery Stole 3. Then finding a mistake and staying up until twenty to two in the morning tinking back and re-knitting back to row 59 or so. Then finding the mistake was actually a bit further back than that. I stumbled into bed in disgust.

Tonight I'm starting again.

Today I took the kids down to a beach to do a little beachcombing. The huge tides of late have decimated the sand dunes, there's a lot more beach on the beaches than there was three weeks ago. Wollongong has 17 pristine more or less deserted patrolled beaches and several more unpatrolled ones that we like to keep secret. Today we eschewed the glamour of North and South beaches (original names huh?) and went instead to the Corrimal Beach, where we picked up a Port Jackson shark egg case and lots and lots of incredibly shaped sea sponges and a multitude of empty mussel shells. And then we put them down again and went on our way, weaving through the huge piles of kelp washed up from the recent king tides and massive groundswells.

After that, mummy needed coffee. So we went a few beaches to the North, to the cafe at Bulli beach. When we arrived there was a small throng of people standing on the headland looking out to sea. 'There must be whales' I said to the kids.

No whales today (maybe tomorrrow?), but a pod of a dozen or so blue nosed dolphins playing in the water. I stood there agog while the kids found some bits of cardboard and sledded down the grassy slope. As they say, you can take a horse to water. Sorry this picture is absolutely rubbish (they were very camera shy) but they were very playful and very active.

I watched them swim around the headland to the protected side of the headland, where there was a litte group of grommets out the back of the breakers on their boogie boards. Some of them left the water (frightened or respectful I wonder?) while others stayed there. The dolphins started catching the waves in with the surfers - I don't know how I could tell by their fins sticking out of the tops of the foam but they looked like they were having such fun! After I wiped away the tears (happens every time - live drumming does it to me too) our coffee and milkshakes and away we went.

Man I love where I live.

No autographs, just throw money

1 Jul 2007

Today, Donni and I went to the Craft and Stitches exhibition at Darling Harbour.

It was a good day. I met some great people, bought some yarn and some beads, and, best of all ...

Nicole Kidman and Donni and I shot the breeze about knitting, parenting, sisters and the boyfriend sweater curse.

When we got to the Prestige Yarns stall (where Donni had some business regarding knitpicks options with Don the proprietor), Donni grabs my arm and says 'Nicole Kidman is here'.

And there she was with her mum, who was buying a jumper kit from beautiful alpaca. Donni and I hung around a bit, fondled some yarn and bided our time. Nicole touched a ball of teal yarn.

"That's such a beautiful colour' says Donni, to which Nicole agreed and then she came around from the back of the stall and stood next to us looking at the yarn.

'I want to knit my husband a scarf' she said 'because he goes away a lot'. She laughed 'it won't be very good, but I guess it's the thought that counts'.

And thus ensued a delightful two-way conversation about knitting and family ('my kids wouldn't wear it, they're teenagers, maybe I could do something for my sister'). Donni and I FULLY advised her about the best choice of yarn for the scarf for Keith.

At one stage she looked at the Debbie Bliss cashmerino in red - Donni whipped out her shetland triangle in the same yarn and Nicole goes 'that's so beautiful, look mamma, isn't this beautiful?' and paws all over Donni's shawl.

Don casually (and I mean casually, his nonplussedness was SO cool) threw an aran sweater down in front of her. 'This is what that's like knittted up' he drawls in his matter of fact Aussie man accent. "It's three years old, sometimes I wear it when it's cold."

"I love that sweater" she says. He didn't give it to her, which I was so glad of. I'm sure in Hollywood they'd say 'take it, and can I get a picture of you and your favourite knitting yarn?' Erk.

No bodyguards, no entourage, just a Sydney chick (and a bit of a dag to boot) checking out the craft show with her mum. She must love coming home for a bit of normality.

Later, just before Donni went home, we asked Don about what he thought of Nicole. He replied laconically 'I didn't think she was as hot in real life as I thought she'd be. My wife's going to be happy'. Talk about the reverse of starstruck! I couldn't disagree more, I thought she was very beautiful - skin like alabaster.

As for me, well the old knitting bizzo's been a bit stagnant lately, but seems to have perked up a little in the past few days.

The picture is our loot from the show. Donni's got all the stately green and red, I've got the bright bright colinette jitterbug and the tofutsies. After she went home I may have added a ball of Belisa Cashmere laceweight also. (Nicole bought a cashmere sweater from them too we discussed, she paid for it too.)

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