Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End of the Decade

Originally uploaded by gidgetknits
That sounds a little ominous, but slightly less so when you have new pink socks!

I love my Pink Geek socks! Perfect for curling up with Hellboy and working on my next sock project. Seriously, the older I get, the geekier I get. I told a friend the other week that I was going to be a little old lady, wrapped in hand knitted shawls and socks, wearing my bright pink Converse sneakers, rockin' up to the comic book shop: "Is the new Hellboy in yet?" I'm looking forward to it! I have absolutely no trouble with getting older. Perhaps because I've always been surrounded by brilliant little old ladies who showed me how it should be done!

The socks were a dream to make though - easy to read pattern, lots of fun in the bobbles and lace. I did order some yellow yarn that I'm hoping will make a follow up pair with. Is it just me, or is good yellow sock yarn a little trickier to find?

VCM has started on her first socks, too. A brown pair for Papa. When quizzed on the recipient, she smiled, "well, of course. He gets the practice pair and when I get good, I make myself some!" Can't argue with that.

Anyway, bring on the pigs of Sylvester! (Those in Austria will know what I mean!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Today's post brought to you by the Victorians

VCM is a whiz at crochet. She whipped up this gorgeous concoction of Perle cotton from a shawl pattern well over a century old. Don't you just love the frothy edges? I do!

The pattern comes from a Weldon's Needlecraft magazine, seen here below. I was impressed.

I think I'll name it the 'Mrs Westlock Shawl'. I've always liked John Westlock from Martin Chuzzlewit, his beefsteak pudding scene being one of my all-time favourites. And this shawl reminds me of something a character could wear in a Dickens novel. Actually, I bet the women who first crocheted it had also been amongst Dickens' first readers! I wonder...

There was a little stash enhancement yesterday at the sales. I found some Kid Seta (silk/mohair) in a perfect sunset shade. I'm thinking of something lovely and simple for it - like the Shoulder Shawl from Victorian Lace Today.

Maybe something Kaylee could wear to her next Shindig! "Don't you just love this party? Everything's so fancy, and there's some kind of hot cheese over there." I've actually got my parents watching Firefly now. They were impressed by Jayne's Hat. Well, who wouldn't be?

The hens today managed to trap a greedy pigeon in their grain bin. They looked smug about it as I struggled to get the dazed bird out.

And I'm just turning the heel of the second Pink Geek sock.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

'Tis the day after Christmas and everyone was knitting or crocheting! And why not? In knitterly terms, we have the most beautiful needles from Celtic Swan Forge (ordered ages and ages ago and saved up!), a little ball of delightful Bouton d'Or and a perfect box for precious dpns.

We also have the penultimate box of yarn from SpaceFrog, because we thought a box of yarn to share would just be marvelous. It is. Marvelous. There's something about a whole box of fresh new yarn! Look at that neon lovely in the middle there - that will go into the best ever pair of 80s inspired socks!

We were a little lazy in terms of decoration this year and went for Kevin, the singing Christmas Tree. Inspired by a Nathan Fillion tweet, I popped The Doctor on top of the tree... just in case we were attacked by Daleks or Cybermen or the Master this Christmas (yes, we're still waiting to see the Christmas episode...).

And I'm now charging through the second of the Pink Geek socks, while the other quietly blocks.

Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas. Now... what should I be knitting to bring in 2010???

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

That's what the holidays are for...

Originally uploaded by gidgetknits
I was flicking through Linda Kopp's The Joy of Sox and had one of those moments. Turning to Kate Blackburn's Movie Socks, I thought of that Shelridge Farm 'Bubblegum' I'd bought at Socktopus in April and... I had to cast them on. This is my fun Christmas knitting. My 'I'm ignoring all my WIPs to do one really fun bit of knitting to celebrate the holiday' knitting. My 'I'm going to watch lots of geeky television and movies' knitting. So I've dubbed them 'Pink Geek'. Although I'm now having an urge to knit a yellow pair too. So maybe there'll be 'Yellow Geek' at some point.

The bobbles (popcorn) are just plain fun and it's an easy pattern, really. A bit fiddly, but simple to read and the effect is just so gosh darn pleasing. You could even knit them while watching this (geeking out to Doctor Who in other words).

Incidentally, speaking of Doctor Who, the power behind Henrietta: Life in the Dome sent me the best Christmas card ever. I'll share that next time!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Feeling vintage

It's nearly the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century! Sheesh... how did that happen? I remember way back at the end of the twentieth century, I was in Vienna, eating garlic-infused potato cakes at the Silvester markets (to ward off vampires - Tanz der Vampire was on at the theatre) and thinking life was pretty good! Then at the beginning of the twenty-first, I was just starting my PhD. It was all bright and shiny.

Mind, there is a secret project that is currently making life very shiny indeed, but I irritatingly can't share that just yet.

So, instead I'll share my latest amazing vintage find on Etsy. A Couroc bakelite bowl with owl from Monterey. I love this bowl! Plus my favourite bit of a rather large parcel from Knit It Up - the 'Old Copper' roving. The sheen on the yarn is unbelievable and that copper-tone... to die for. I do need a spinning wheel, don't I?

I'm currently knitting odd rows on all the WIPs. Which means there's not much to show for anything. I don't really mind. I'm so close to casting on Movie Socks with some 'Bubblegum' yarn I have... just for fun and because I feel like making bobbles.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Theme - Red

I'm on holiday. So this morning I went comic book shopping with a friend. I absolutely loaded up on great comics. As I was lugging the haul into the house, I noticed that the postman had also arrived with some goodies and that the colours all coordinated...

There's my Chai fiber from Enchanted Knoll Farm. (I still keep losing my drop spindle as I try to tease out the fibers - however, I am nothing if not persistent!) There's also my vintage, cherry red Bakelite handled ice-cream scoop! I love this scoop. It reminds me of the one we had when I was growing up (still a work in progress, of course). I love and randomly collect Bakelite. Then there's the point that tomorrow could be nearly 40 degrees, so an ice cream scoop will be handy!

Little parcels of knitted thingamajigs are on their way overseas, too, now. I can return to catching up on WIPs!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas jumbles

Fifi, the little brown hen, is broody again. She sits fluffed up in her box, screeching at anyone who checks in on her. She is busy with chicken business... even if the egg she's sitting on is a fake.

Lola today was having none of that. Lola, the little white hen, wanted to lay her egg in THAT same box and Lola wasn't taking no for an answer.


One of the things I love about Christmas is weekend postal deliveries, especially when they bring with them the Ewe Beaut Sampler!! Isn't it a colourful mix-mash of colour and fiber? My favourite for the moment is the Ms. Gusset 100% Australian merino wool in shades of green. You can sign up for her mailing list. It's great that more dyers and spinners are coming out! I can't wait to start trying the fibres out. I'm still struggling a little with the spindle, but has that stopped me from contemplating an all out wheel? No, it has not. What do you think? I'm leaning towards the Majacraft Rose.

And just for a little fun, this has me in stitches every time I watch it. It's from the BBC Doctor Who Advent Calendar. I now can't get the song out of my head!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

'Tis the Season and all

I thought I'd share with you one of my favourite seasonal treats, "Happy Life Day." Yes, Princess Leia singing something uplifting (I kind of miss what, because I'm always giggling too much) to a bunch of Wookies while Han and Luke look on with somewhat dazed, goofy expressions. What were they thinking? And doesn't it just make you want to whip out some needles and knit yourself Princess Leia hair buns?

Personally, I think Princess Leia is one of the great fairy tale heroines. Right from the moment she addresses Luke: "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" Which is brilliantly realised with Scottish accent at Star Wars Uncut. I have a weakness for Scottish accents! Seriously, though, she is a wise-cracking, snarky, can-do princess who spends a great deal of her time helping to rescue her rescuers. What's not to love?

And "why you low-down, stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder" was one of the first quotes I ever memorised. Not for me rattling off Shakespeare, Milton or Keats. No, I could rattle of Princess Leia! Still can and find it incredibly useful.

Then, I'm also a Carrie Fisher fan. Postcards from the Edge was re-read infinite times during my late teens. No, I never developed drug or alcohol problems, though I did go through a stage of drinking Diet Cokes and salads because of it...

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Okay, slightly less than imaginative post title there! Would you look at the yellow a quiche can achieve thanks to one's busy little free range hens? Admittedly, it did get a bit crumbly... but look at that yellow!

And today in the garden I noticed a perfect mushroom. Big, round, glorious. As I was taking a photo of it, Mimi decided to do a walk-through and I just love the shot! I've dubbed it the 'Baba Yaga' shot! Giant chicken legs.

I did finally get those revisions done and a little more Christmas-knitting-that-I-wasn't-going-to-do. Back to work!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Just convincing myself I can string two words together...

I'm having one of 'those' mornings. I did finish up some paperwork, but I have a couple of very minor, not hard to complete revisions to make on something else and all I can currently think is 'I can't write... seriously... I should be ashamed of myself.' This has resulted in multiple cups of coffee, decisions on what laundry I can do, a visit to the postbox that included pulling up several dozen weeds (not necessarily a bad thing), and now a blog post. The latter stems from the reasoning 'if I can write the blog post, I can write these revisions up.'

Touch wood, I rarely suffer from writer's block. I can write. My problem is that I often look at my writing and think 'I really can't write.' The words are all there, but they never look good. I can see all the ways in which they could be better. Then people mention pet peeves about books and articles and I think back over the times I *might* have committed those same atrocities and I'm a goner. This is why I have an awful time being critical of another's work. I'm all too aware that I've probably made the same errors, the same lazy assumptions. So this morning, I'm just a bit stalled over revisions.

So I'll take the opportunity to show you my little splurge at Enchanted Knoll Farm from when they were having their sale. It's called Merbabe.

She currently has some little spinning batts up that I'm trying not to look at.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Feathered fiends

Would you just look at this creature? This creature has been leaving a fantastic mess under my plum tree of half-eaten, half-ripe plums!!! I hope he's getting a tummy ache. (Mind, you have to love the pose he struck for the photo!)

And last night? I was watching "The Waters of Mars" and Lola began to shriek. I dashed outside and Lola was standing at the rose bush, pointing her beak towards the gate that I hadn't quite closed after weeding the front garden. Mimi and Coco were already out and onto the front lawn having a wonderful time! So there I was, in a dressing gown, running around the front lawn trying to herd chickens before they got into all the ditches created by the road works occurring outside my house, while I should have been curled up inside watching Doctor Who!

In between various feathery chaos, I did some spur of the moment Christmas knitting. I had promised myself to do no Christmas knitting, but I got stuck on what to give a couple of friends and knitting kind of solves the problem.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wardrobe rehauls

If you're going to have a cocktail lounge of shawls (Artifically Mythic and I had been joking about the number of 'yarn margaritas' turning into shawls...), you need something to wear with them. No, I'm not really very good at sewing - my seams tend to have a mind of their own - but happily I'm the daughter of someone who can sew very well, so I took advantage of an online sale for some new patterns!

I'm also toying with a shawl/doily mash-up for my next project. Well, aside from the pile of WIPs I currently have.

But I have banned any thought of Christmas knitting this year! It's been a stressful few weeks and I've quite enjoyed treating myself to knitting for fun.