Sunday, February 28, 2010

Apple Cores

This morning I walked outside and found a 'friend' in the apple tree. One of those 'friends' covered in bright green, blue and red feathers. He'd just enjoyed a generous breakfast. And I now have a tree positively loaded with apple cores.

There was a net over the tree, honest. But it was windy last night. The net blew down. My 'friends' blew in. Possibly to visit the possum that I'm pretty sure also enjoyed a midnight feast.

Oh well, there's still a few whole apples on the lower branches that I might be able to munch, thus allowing me to have enjoyed some of the crop.

So, I went back inside and was watching the ice skating and knitting on the Evenstar Shawl. I re-started after a breakdown of equipment (I know wood needles and silk are supposed to go together, but I had so much grip, it was getting silly). I knitted along happily to where I last stopped and ripped and... I was missing a stitch.

I decided some soothing stockinette was in order. Isn't the Orange Juice Coraline (in progress, of course) gorgeous in this photo?

It always makes me smile to work on her! Of course... then I realised I was ready to start the sleeves and do you think I own 3.5mm dpns? I have 3.25s. I have 3.75s. I have bags of 4s. Sigh...

Thank goodness it's Bones and Castle tonight. Something has to go right!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


And I should make some black coffee to have after the Mad Men marathon.

I'm set

All I have to do is whip up a pair of the pyjamas and I'm right to go!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A little devilish today

Guess what just arrived in the post from VCM? My own little devil, Lu! We got the pattern from K4TT and it's brilliant. VCM had a ball crocheting him and he's perched now on my printer, threatening me with his pitchfork (VCM's last minute addition - I was on the phone with her when she finished Lu and when she suddenly exclaimed 'he needs a pitchfork - should it be red or black or something else?').

Why threaten me at all? Because I'm supposed to be working on a bit about spinning wheels, hearths and Mother Goose, but I'm instead typing in notes on Prince Charming.

Which means I should stop writing this blogpost and get back to work! Oh... did win her blog competition and so K4TT sent me out the pattern for Layla. VCM is already on the hunt for the perfect yarn!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shaking Our Tail Feathers!

Today, it's all about tail feathers... or the lack thereof. After months of cluckiness, I locked Fifi out of her hen house and she realised that is was, indeed, more fun to be out pecking and dust bathing than to be sitting in straw, grumpy all the time. Only, due to months of cluckiness, the moment she started being up and and about, she lost all her feathers. Here she is with just two tail feathers, which was a comical sight, really. Sorry Fifi.

She has since lost the two tail feathers and there is something rather bizarre about a hen without any tail feathers...

Speaking of which, I've become obsessed with 50/60s dress patterns. But how can you not love patterns for 'wiggle skirts'?

This wiggle skirt actually has an overskirt, a peculiar 60s fashion I fell in love with while watching Gidget as a kid (in reruns - I don't usually worry too much about giving away my age, but since I listen to 60s bands like The Rolling Stones and the Troggs and I harbour an urge to be Emma Peel when I grow up, I feel the need to point out, I wasn't yet born in the 60s).

My fingers are actually itching to clean off the sewing machine desk and dig into my fabric stash. Only... last time the machine ate my seam. Literally. There were great bites taken out of the fabric. And I really want a vintage sewing machine... it only seems right...

I am kind of amused that many of the sellers on Etsy are tagging the 60s patterns with Mad Men. I am now threatening to turn up to lectures next semester dressed like Joan Harris. And yet, I haven't actually watched much of the series. I think I need the DVD box sets and a marathon weekend. The fashion is calling to me. Maybe I'll make appletinis.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vintage Evening

You might recognise the name, Miss Lambert, from Jane Sowerby's Victorian Lace Today. She's the inspiration behind the spider's web shawl I plan to cast on just as soon as a few more projects leave the needles. In fact, if you open a copy of Victorian Lace Today, you'll see an image of My Knitting Book by Miss Lambert, First Series.

Well, I just got my little mitts on My Knitting Book by Miss Lambert, Second Series! It's such a tiny book, 1846. It has patterns for carriage socks, fish napkins and sofa pillows and attached to one page, a sample, I presume, of the edging described. I'm guessing the previous owner might have done this, but it was a lovely surprise when the book slipped free of the packaging. You can just see it in the photo below.

I put a squishy skein of Damson from See Jayne Knit beside the book for size comparison. And Miss Lambert's book is resting on top of a dressmaking annual I picked up from The Uppity Woman. The cover is a bit tattered, but the cover illustration is fantastic.

Isn't it brilliant? There's a whole section on clothes etiquette. I'm going to keep it in mind for my next trip: "The semi-tailored type of clothes that you wear for the street are correct on the train. A Pullman robe of dark colored material to wear from the sleeper berth to the dressing room is in better taste than a gay kimono. Street, afternoon or dinner dresses are the rule for dinner in a hotel. On shipboard one usually dresses for dinner. A dinner dress and an evening dress will be needed." Personally, I think the gay kimono sounds fascinating.

There's also advice on making pretty 'dainty things' on a moderate income. I'd love to be lounging in monogrammed pyjamas like those pictured - I could pretend to be in my favourite F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, Tender is the Night, seducing Dick Diver.

There's advice on what cuts work for the thin or stout figure, styles for "the roly-poly little girl, also becoming styles for the so-called awkward stage." Bliss.

Last night, while Kate was running about on Lost looking for Sawyer, I cast on the Evenstar Shawl without pulling it out again. I gritted my teeth and told myself I hadn't twisted the needles and that the loops would settle down if I just kept knitting. I did keep knitting and although I'm only about an inch in, it's looking actually okay. I might be on track and I have to say, even the tiny circle of silk lace is divine.

Today I've been cobbling together quotes from the piles of books currently hemming me in. It's been a long day, so I think I'll just shut down, put my feet up with the silk, and watch a little Stargate and snow boarding!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Character Yarns

Sometimes, it's just fun to realise your favourite characters in yarn.

I put in a custom order at Woolen Mill St Yarns. Check out her colours on the linked website - colours for Firefly, Lord of the Rings, Battlestar Galactica... it makes a heart feel glad. I asked if she could do Doctor Rush from Stargate Universe. They've just left us on a cliff hanger till April, so I needed a little something to see me through.

This is my new Dr Rush yarn! Very pleased - the colours really work, the yarn is gorgeously light and squishy.

Oh, and I've also got a Doctor's hand! Could I grow a Doctor now? Become half Time Lord? When I saw this, I couldn't resist being goofy. It just makes me chuckle. I've been wanting to try illusion knitting for a while, because despite the photos and understanding the concept, I just couldn't get my mind around how it would actually work. I might need to try the Dalek next so the Doctor has someone to battle.

It's being knit up with the BWM yarn that I picked up in Bendigo on sale. Oh, and the darker brown? That's 'ginger'. Those who know Doctor Who will understand.

I'm still working on my Evenstar Shawl cast on. I actually didn't find the cast on itself difficult - just the first row. Which refuses not to have big loops in it. But I'm only on my third try, so I figure I'm on track! It might be difficult to try again tonight. Men's singles skating. The coverage on commercial television isn't brilliant, but at least I'm getting to watch some of the Winter Olympics. I like the Winter Olympics. Snow and people throwing themselves off mountains, down mountains, around ice... what's not to love?

Monday, February 15, 2010


All finished! This is Bigby, Ysolda's Peak Island Hood in Needle Food's Cranberry. I did sew on different buttons semi-on-purpose. Probably if I did have three of the flower buttons, I would have three flower buttons, but I like the random effect. It's a mix of wood and coconut buttons.

Such a squishy hood! It turned out just as I'd hoped. I took it outside for a quick photo shoot, but it's a little tricky to do self-portraits on a windy, warm day wearing your red hood! (I know, it looks like I don't have a face!)

Bigby is named after Bill Willingham's Big Bad Wolf from the Fables comics. I love those comics. Fairy tale characters become refugees in a New York neighbourhood. Bigby plays Sheriff for a while before marrying Snow White and having cubs... yes, cubs!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I do have something red today, just to get into the spirit of things - but it's blocking. Those foam play mats really are ideal for knitted objects with odd corners...

I'll shortly be on the scrounge for buttons for it.

And then someone noticed I like orange. My new favourite ring.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Little Vintage Fashion

I picked up these patterns a little while ago, but aren't they wonderful? For just a few dollars, I had a vintage fix. Plus, I was very geeky, but I got terribly excited that one came with the original envelop. I wonder if Mrs Parker is still out there? She used to live in Hawthorne.

Incidentally, if you love vintage fashion and you haven't yet been to Glass of Fashion, go! I implore you! It's marvelous and she knits too.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

There will be hats...

Seriously squishy stuff from See Jayne Knit. How can you go passed Psychotic Pumpkin and The Manly Cup of Coffee (Dark Roast)? I think hats.... definitely hats...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's raining, so I should be finger painting

When I attended grade one, our teacher had us finger paint on rainy days. A consequence of this is that I find it extremely difficult to settle down to proper work on rainy days. It's for finger painting!

Guess what? It's raining today.

But in slightly more serious news... aren't these great? They're light mesh bags that you can use in the green grocer or supermarket instead of those awful plastic bags no one can ever get open anyway. You can see through them to read labels or determine the variety of apple. They don't weigh anything hardly. And look at that colour! I can't wait to see the reaction at the check out.

I picked them up from an Australian Etsy seller, seventh sphere. I have my totes etc that I take along to carry all my shopping in, but I usually infuriate the shop assistant by having all my fruit etc loose, because I can't bring myself to use those horrible plastic bags. So they're usually chasing the onion that's rolled away under the till...

Problem solved. A little late night Etsy window shopping later, and I have something practical. And yes, that is a tinsy tiny skull on the purple bag.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Woolly Adventure

The other day, my BKFF suggested that we hop on a train and go to Bendigo. Do you need to ask why? (Admittedly, the sign is a bit hidden behind the trees, but that does read Bendigo Woollen Mills.)

Train journeys are excellent knitting opportunities, particularly when you have a friend and you bag the group of seats facing each other and scare people off with the pointy sticks and ridiculous piles of wool. My Bigby (Peak Island Hood) just grew and grew. Which is saying something, because I keep stopping to squish Bigby since, seriously, the Needle Food worsted is that squishable.

In Bendigo, we had a brilliant leisurely lunch where they offered not one, but many GF options, and then strolled through the city, running into the talking tourist tram a couple of times, then locating BWM.

We found the bargain room. At first, we were a little 'well, that's all?' Until we started rifling through a couple of bins we'd been walking passed for some inexplicable reasons we still haven't fathomed...

Ummm... what can I say? They were bargains!!! And yes, that is just my haul. My BKFF has her own haul that I believe may shortly sprout pink owls, but that's another story.

To make matters worse, when I got home, look what silky delights were on my doorstep.