Friday, November 30, 2007

Felting Fun

I've been having a felting lot of fun!
Christmas presents.

Some parts of each object are felting more than other bits but that is part of what I like about them.

Now I think I will reinforce them with a little bit of fine wire and wrap them up!

I can't wait to do more!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Kindof but not really!

I'm not sure exactly what went wrong but I know what I will do next time and there will be a next time!

I knitted this scarf and did a Nicky Epstein to it - wrapped it around balls, secured them with rubber bands and attempted to felt it.

First of all I knit it too loose to hold the size balls I wanted to use. Second I used styrofoam balls - um, they float (duh!!). The mohair didn't felt at all! I put it thru 4 wash cycles. I'm sure it was a combination of trying to felt something when it won't sink into the hot water and knitting it too loose.

But it did turn out interesting - I just haven't made up my mind if I like the unwanted stretched out result or not?

I will try Nicky's methods again - her book Knitting Never Felt Better is a gem.

I do feel better about my other attempts over the weekend.

They were quick and fun! They will both be in mail to colder climates for Christmas prezzies.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Knitters - show us your tats!

I've been inspired by Bells to show my tat to the blogging world (not that so many people read my blog!) but, well, here it is...

When I made the committment to stay living in Australia I decided to get a tattoo of 'home' to carry with me always. This is an Orca whale design from the Pacific Northwest Native Americans - where I am from. There used to be lots of Orcas in Puget Sound when I was younger and living there. I always loved them. So this is my little bit of Seattle that goes with me wherever I go.

I don't know if it has been done before but I too would love to see other knitters tats and hear the stories that go with them!.

And tomorrow I am doing something with this -

I'll share when it turns out fantastic. Cross your needles for me!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Buttons and Christmas Presents

I found some buttons in my bedside table drawer! I don't remember buying them. I don't remember what I bought them for? But I love them - I'm sure that's WHY I bought them. And they look great on my Chinese Vest.

So I got my vest out of retirement (from the winter cupboard) and sewed on some buttons.

Now, it has been almost cold enough this past week in Canberra to get out the Winter clothes again, but I resisted. But the cold did make it easier to knit hats and scarves for my son and his partner who are wintering in Seattle. They are planning on doing a lot of snow boarding.

Neither one of them read my blog or even know about it so there is no fear that they will see this before they open presents on Christmas morning. Wish I could be there to see them try on their new hats! Oh well, sigh!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trekking socks - a world of colour!

Man, this is why I knit! The joy of so much colour put together in a way I would never think of (not to mention that I don't have the skill to) and that suits my senses completely. I absolutely love this wool. It is bright and subtle at the same time. It is soft and strong. It is beautiful and gracious. I watched my needles the whole way through these socks because of the colours.

I knit the socks that I want - I made them short and with cables.
And the bonus is that there is enough left over to make another pair - as long as I am happy to mix it with another yarn. (or maybe some fingerless mitts?) And even better - I have another ball of Treking in another colourway. I'm figuring out another pattern for my second favourite pair of socks that are going to be knit very soon!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Just in time for Summer?

My vest is finished all except for the perfect buttons. I have some metal buttons that have sailing ships on them that I may use but I want to have a look at Addicted 2 Fabric before I decide to use the ones I have.
I especially like the neck even with the big brown blob which I have come to appreciate if not love. This was fun to knit. The pattern is Chinese Red Vest from Folk Vests by Cheryl Oberle. The yarn is Bendigo Alpaca which I know a few of you have used. It was easy to knit and I really loved every minute of it.

Now I will wrap it in tissue paper and put it away for six months! That just seems wrong - but I can't even hang it in the closet for that long. Oh, well, hopefully I will love it this much next June.

I am typing this blog entry on my new notebook - and I love it. I feel so modern after the crappy computer I have been using for the past two years.

It's just a little thing with not much grunt but I still think it is cool - almost as cool as my new vest. Or should I say as 'hot' as my new vest. Well, I'll tell you how hot it is next June!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

There has been knitting...

I have been so busy with other stuff over the past month - I haven't had much ME knitting time but there has been a little.

I am utterly in love with Trekking. It is absolute delight to look at while I'm knitting and it is smooth on my rosewood needles. I know this sock looks a little strange but I like ankle socks and I have a long foot. This one fits really nicely. I have only started the second one but since I haven't posted for donkey's years I couldn't resist the one sock shot. I have another ball of another colorway of Trekking too - I need to come up with the perfect pattern for that ball - because they are both going to be for ME!

My vest body is done and this weekend (depending on time constraints) I will pick up for the bands and hopefully the armhole bindings. Despite the occassional brown blog (!) I like this very much - and the alpaca is so soft. I want to get it done before the hot weather sets in - I won't pick it up if it's hot.

I'm loving Spring! I'm loving the warm weather, the longer days, the lilac in bloom and the open windows and doors. And it is still a joy to ride my bike to work - I no longer need to use "Granny Gear" so I know my fitness level has increased. I hope you are all loving Spring too - or Autumn as the hemisphere might be!!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

AHH factor - high!

Lucky girl me went to see Steely Dan last night. Donald Fagen is still brilliant. The band was hot with lots of brass and the 'Love Choir" was amazing. It took me back to Sun Valley in 77, sitting on the balcony, wrapped in furs, sipping champagne, watching the moon light glitter off the snow on the mountain and Deacon Blues playing on the stereo - Ah, great days! Great memories.

Anyway - thought I would throw in one more feel good photo - I know, everyone sees ducks - but these are the ducks that I see every morning and I love them. They are just so, well, fluffy and cute, and small and sweet. Daddy Duck is very protective and that makes me like this family even more. Aren't we all suckers for little live things. Show me a puppy without a home and I'll show you a new prospective new member of my family!

Have a ducky day! Ciao

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cheer up

Today is a bit of a sad day for a lot of people - me included. It is sad for so many different reasons - but a memory like 9/11 brings up everyone's own sad memories. I've spent a good part of the day trying not to cry at work while people tell me their stories, and ones I have read on my blog friend's blogs. My heart is feeling all of your pains. And I wish there was more I could do than just say that.

But I wanted to show you something that might cheer you up. This was my first knitting venture when I was in my 20's. When I first came to Australia I wanted to send home all kinds of Australiana. My parents and friends seemed to like it all so I found this pattern for a tea cozy (something I had never heard of before!) in a Womens Day type magazine. So I knit it for my mother.

Well, it would fit Hagrid's tea pot but not much else. But my mom, who loves me, keeps everything I send her. So here, have a little laugh and have a little cry - whatever your heart feels like. Ciao

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Habu Cork Chenille

I am a lucky girl - and so is my son's girlfriend. I get one long skinny Habu Cork Chenille scarf and so does she. I got two skeins from Tricote in Seattle (I still lay in bed at night with visions of Tricoter in my head - like Christmas!) I started my scarf with 11 cast on stitches, thinking that I might need all of the two skeins for a scarf. After about 30 cm I realized that I would have plenty for a scarf so I thought I would rip and start again - HA! this stuff is sticky, clinging, huggy, grabby, hooky, graspy, grippy and clutchy. So both of us get a long skinny scarf that is all of the above, and cool!
It was a sheer decadence to buy this yarn and I had no idea what it would look like knit up. From a distance it is a bit like those feathery yarns but close up it is very earthy and spectacular! I wish Habu for you all.
Oh, I have two more skeins of a different Habu that I will be knitting up soon - I am going to think a little bit longer about the next project because I am sure that it is just as trickey and sticky!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Big brown blobs

Ha! Two sorts of big brown blobs - one I love the other I don't love so much. When in the US, my girlfriends, who are also chocolate lovers, pointed me in the direction of these little treasures. Little tins of truffles. Delicious little truffles. And they are not expensive at all. Unfortunately I don't think we will get them in Australia but they will be on my Christmas and birthday lists from now on.

And when they are finished I can fit in about 4 of the yummy chocolates from KokoBlack - especially the cinnamon chocolates. OK - enough of the first very tempting brown blobs.

Now for the ones I don't like so much.

I am knitting a vest for myself from Bendigo alpaca. It is really nice to knit with - lovely color - tweedy blue grey.

And I have been knitting while watching some DVD's over that last few nights - not really watching while I'm knitting. And when I went back to count stitches I found these brown blobs. I don't really know whether to do anything or not. They don't look so bad on this close up photo - but these are the only ones on the whole back. They look like dirty marks or something - though they are part of the wool.

Has anyone else had this problem with Bendigo wool? In every other way it is a gracious yarn for the price.
Well, I think I need to have some of my first brown blobs while I figure out what do to do with the second brown blobs!!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Corn Sock, Red Vest and Commute

I am working on a pair of socks as a thank you to a friend. These are knit with Maizy - 82% corn fiber and 18% nylon. The yarn knits like cotton and my new Lantern Moon Sox Stix are so nice to knit with. They are silky smooth and look so lovely. This picture is a little dark but it is the closest to the actual colour. I measured my friend's other socks that she likes before I started these. They were a little tricky as she does not have an usually shaped foot. But I think I got there with this one.
I have also never left this long between knitting one sock and starting the other - I think it is a mistake. I can't remember a lot of what I did and I didn't write it all down!!

And my other 'on the needles' project is a Chinese Red Vest - in grey!! I love this yarn and I really like this pattern so far. I love the fact that the pattern is easy - I can knit it and watch DVD's at the same time - a must project to have going. And the knit picks are also a dream to knit with.

I also wanted to show you what my commute looked like coming home tonight! How lovely is this? No traffic - well, a couple of dogs and their walkers. But I just ring my bell and they move over for me. And they all say G'day to me too. I can hear birds singing and kids playing soccer as I ride. Other commuters zoom by me but that is only because I am going at Granny speed - and no one cares. I find myself smiling my whole way home. Such a change from when I used to drive. Plus I don't have to feel guilty about the whole exercise thing.

I can't stop riding until I get where I am going so I get almost an hour of exercise a day - how good is that?
Ding Ding!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Ever since I was a kid I thought we got gipped (is that a word here?) - you know, cheated, because we only had one moon. Everyone loves the moon. Wouldn't everyone tripely love three moons? I wanted more!

As a child I was fascinated by the full moon, the half moon, the quarter moon. But as soon as I learned that Jupiter had 8 moons I was completely jealous. (I know, now Jupiter has sixty-three known natural satellites according to Wikipedia) And as soon as I saw them in Life Magazine I was consumed. They were orange and yellow and red and big.

Then came Luke Skywalker standing on the sand dune looking at the moons of Tatooine. I wanted them plus the music that swelled with them.

But last night our moon put on a little show that was worthy of it's oneness. I hope you all got out your telescopes and binoculars and had a look because it was pretty spectacular. And the dogs loved it because I set myself up with a chair and a vodka outside and sat there a moon gazed - they thought it was a party outside, for a change.

But the best part was when I came in this morning to look at my lame photos from last night. There is proof - living proof - that there is another moon hiding behind our moon and only popping out to see the moon dance. I feel content at last and not ripped off anymore.


Monday, August 27, 2007


Since most of my knitting at the moment is secret squirel stuff (except for the red chinese vest which I am knitting in grey/blue alpaca from Bendigo!) I am going to write about other stuff in my life. Every year on my birthday I set a task for myself. One year I gave up trying to tell jokes (I always miss a key point in the telling and get a sea of blank faces at the punch line!! Very discouraging). This is the year for making my little world a more positive and fun place by doing and enjoying little things. I have some amazing mentors in this field and people help me everyday who don't even know they are helping.

So I am going to blog about my attempts at living a more lovely life for the second half of my life - and making these lovely things life-long habits.

Breakfast is my first hurdle of the day. I can get up early. I can jump in the shower. I can clean my teeth and easily decide what to wear for the day. But what to have for breakfast is a challenge. I don't really feel like eating anything. I never have been a breakfast girl. But I have read more than my fair share of dieting books and they all say "breakfast is the most important meal of the day"! OK I believe it!

So I'm going to make breakfast an event instead of a meal. I gathered all my books, read up on what I actually need in my diet that I am not getting from chocolate and tuna and have decided on a smoothie! I got skim milk, fruit, soy product, fiber, linseeds and almonds, protein powder and a vitamin. I know that this might not sound like an eureka moment for some but it is for me. But how do you make a smoothie an event? I put some Sergio on the stereo, open the curtains to the gorgeous sunny day and sit down at the table.

It's a start!! Now I am ready to face my day with the most important meal of the day accomplished in style.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


See ya Seattle! I'll miss you all soooo much my family and friends. I'll miss the city. I'll miss the amazing landscape and Mount Rainier. I'll miss the music and the food. I'll miss my son's incredible bar tending talents. I'll miss the clean atmosphere. I'll miss the fun and the sun. I'll miss my new friends too.

Hello again Canberra! It has taken me four days to get over my travel hangover - it was bad this time for some reason (nothing at all to do with that big party the night before I left and all the mandarine vodka we drank!). But I feel human now. And I like being home all except for the cccold. I guess I'll get used to it again. And I have my new stash to keep me warm!! Mmmm angora!!

And I have started a new project today. I couldn't decide what to knit first so I started on some beautiful alpaca from Bendigo - go figure! I'm still pondering my other new ventures with my new yarn.

I have so many blogs to catch up on - I barely read any while I was away. But thanks for all your lovely comments on mine. I hope you all enjoyed the little bit of my holiday that I shared. It was a blast and I can't wait to do it all again - but there is some serious knitting to get done first.
Glad to be home. Ciao.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Brother's socks delivered.

Nettie - Little Brother likes his socks!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Seattle and 'other' shopping.

I ventured into the big CBD of Seattle before I had dinner with friends - I guess my inner country girl had a bit of a hard time - it is summer holidays here so LOTS of people and I am not that good in crowds anyway. So I looked up a lot.

It is a beautiful city - very clean and clear with interesting sites and shops. I'm just not that into it.

One of the girlfriends works on one of the top floors of this building.

Then we came back into West Seattle and went to the Matador and drank the best ever Cosmopolitans. Not just because my son made them for us - no - because he makes them damned good!!
And this is what happens when you try to take a self portrait after drinking a couple of those damned good Cosmos.

By the way - he makes those Cosmopolitans with flavored Vodka!!
I'm having a great time but I feel like I am almost ready to come home.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Three diets!

First diet - the Pastry Diet.

All I can say is I am thankful that this bakery does not live in Canberra!!
That is a shot of one of the four cases full of THE most delicious bakery goodies ever. Chocolate cake to gain 20 kilos for! And the rest is just amazingly yummy and only 1 mile from my mother's house!
This is hard to see but the bread in the window is all shaped like sea creatures - star fish, a big octopus and turtles. It is really cute. It is the best bakery I have ever been to. Oh, oh, and the baker is a chocolatier too!

Did I say it is only 1 mile from my bedroom over here? Will I be able to try everything before I come back in a week?

The Wild Ginger diet -
this food is soooooo gooood and I have been here twice! My son brought me two nights ago and my friends just took me there tonight. Those are sechuan beans with pickled turnips and pepper scallops.

Duck is their specialty - make your own duck rolls.

And the best company too.
And the Knitting diet - all you can knit and it's not fattening at all!!!
There was a sale at the LYS (can you believe I hit a sale in the short time I am here!!) I picked up some 40% off Angora and before I could quickly get it out of my hand the woman who owned the store came up to me and said "Oh, you should take it and give the little bunnies a home!" so my mom bought me enough for a red angora sweater. Am I a lucky girl or what?
And look what came in the post today - way way cheaper than at home and no postage. I am in heaven.

Now I only have to live until I am 153!
I am sleeping with my angora tonight!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Relaxing at the cabin and visitors

My girlfriend has a little cabin on Hood Canal on the Olympic Peninsula. We had an extremely relaxing three days there - four of us - all friends for 40 years. One of the GF brought an old high school year book with her and we had hours of fun looking thru - see old boyfriends, people who are still their friends and sadly they knew all the people who had died too. But it was mostly lots of laughs.

And this is her front yard - nice, no?

We ate and ate again (boy, I am going to have to go on more than one kind of diet when I get home!!)

And I got a little knitting done with all the talking, and a little walking too.
We had a lovely little visitor the last night we were there - came in for some dog food.

We didn't get too close as they are not that nice if they feel they are being attacked - but Rocky gave us a good 15 minutes of entertainment - watching him eat and make little noises (nothing to do with the two bottles of champaigne - absolutely nothing!)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

This is what I've been doing!

Don't look too close - it still need another coat on the deck and some touch ups on the rails and fence. Dad and I have been out there workin and it's been great. We will go get some more paint this afternoon.
Went to the best ever Mariners baseball game last night. We beat the Boston Red Socks bad!!
Well, there's been painting and baseball.
And visiting.
And eating.

And gardening.

I have been driving my Dad's truck. I have only gotten into the wrong side of the car 4 times (oh, look, there's no steering wheel!) and only banged my left hand on the door half a dozen times trying to shift with it. But I haven't pulled into the wrong side of the street once yet. Oh, yeah, I almost got run over looking the wrong way when I stepped into the street but that doesn't count. And look what my mom knit - a little sock for the dohickey that unlocks the key from the ignition in Dad's truck. Isn't it cute?

OK - there has been a little shopping

and yes, that is Malabrigo. It was on special at the LYS and I couldn't resist. Plus some soft linen and...

Maizy sock yarn - corn fiber and nylon - and rosewood dpn's. I am going to be soooo poor moneywise next year - rich fiberwise.

Still beautiful and sunny. Seafair starts this weekend but I am staying clear - too many crowds for me. Going to Hoods Canal tomorrow with girlfriends. Can't wait! Ciao.