Thursday, August 03, 2006

Another pointless post about knitting

While I'm sure I will really appreciate all the work that's going into it when I finally finish my jumper. (Current estimated finishing time is around winter 2011 - I can wear it for my 30th birthday celebrations!), there is a lot to be said for small projects.

I made up a pair of fingerless gloves a few weeks ago, begining them on a monday or tuesday and wearing them to work on thursday morning. I remember being really cross that the temperature was a balmy 6 degrees — above zero for the first time in almost a week. Anyway, it's very satisfying deciding to make something and then only a few days later having the finished project.

I guess it all follows on from the whole short attention span thing although some of the problem is I knit so slowly. I get really envious when I watch really fast knitters on the bus, who can knit at a hundred miles an hour, while barely moving their hands. I find as soon as I try and stop taking by right hand off the needle when I loop the yarn around, I start dropping stitches or splitting the yarn :(

On another note: I was given my dad's old digital camera a few weeks ago and as soon as I get the right cable I'll start posting pics. I've also got a photos of a few batches of Amy's cupcakes for her blog.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Short attention span

I've made a bit of progress on my jumper, right now it looks like a shapeless mess, about 60cm long with the last 5cm knitted on circular needles, but at least it's started. It's all in stockinette stitch so I've been slipping the first stitch in each row as the pattern says, but it is still rolling quite a lot. Don't know whether this will mean the neckline will roll or not...

Anyway, I'm currently taking a break from working on the jumper while I make a pair of fingerless gloves, using some of the alpaca/wool blend yarn that I got from Bendigo Wool Mills (Mystique 8ply in Seaspray). I went to yesterday and the featured pattern for the summer '06 was for fingerless gloves, with cable stitch around the cuff and at the fingers. It is very satisfying to be working on something which I can see taking shape after only one evening.

On a non-knitting note, I went to Sydney last weekend and had my car broken into. I lost my bag (not my handbag) and got my back side window smashed in. :( At least I didn't have my knitting in that bag.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Letters and parcels

Receiving parcels in the mail has got to be one of the nicest things, letters too (when they’re not from any government body or businesses threatening to cut off your electricity or phone, or addressed ‘To the Householder’). While those ones aren’t so fun, I love getting letters or cards from friends or family and I’d always thought that they seemed so much more personal than an email. But then yesterday I got an email from an old friend who I’ve been pretty lax about keeping in touch with this year, and it was just as nice a surprise; full of interesting news, funny anecdotes — all the things that I like about letters (and was great to hear from you J!). So I guess being able to open an envelope, hold a letter as you read it, see the person’s handwriting doesn’t really matter to me as much as I thought…

A second good thing happened yesterday when I got home from work and found a big parcel from Bendigo Woollen Mills with my wool order inside.

The 200g balls are huge, and I think I’ve ordered waaaay to much for my jumper, but then I always buy too much wool — ever since my first project, a scarf for my sister, when I ran out of wool and went back to the shop and found out that the wool I was using wasn’t made anymore and the closest match was shades darker and a different texture. While actually made the scarf a bit more interesting, I was really upset at the time and ever since then I seem to wind up with 1 or 2 too many balls left over.

The pattern I’m using is for a thicker wool, uses empirical measurements and not in my size, so as well as doing a square to test the tension, I’m going to have to do a fair bit of maths before I start.

My brain is hurting already. :(

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Uluru, Kata Tjuta and singing dingos

I’ve had a pretty busy couple of weeks and I’m totally exhausted. I shouldn’t complain because it’s mostly due to going to Alice Springs for work last weekend, staffing a bookstand at a conference. Travelling for work is a pretty cool experience, especially as I’m just an accounts clerk and I wouldn't normally get to travel. We also had time off — on Sunday arvo I hired a bike from the hotel and rode into town and wandered through the markets, then out to the Heavitree Gap which is a break in the McDonnell ranges, where you drive through to get to Alice Springs from the airport. The landscape is so different to anywhere else I’ve been, with the red dirt and the rocky ranges jutting up it’s a bit like being on Mars (except for, you know, the people, houses, trees…).

On Monday, which was a day off, I went on a bus out to Uluru and Kata Tjuta with one of my workmates and her husband. It was a very long day, the bus picked us up from the hotel at 5.50am and we got back there a bit before midnight. I have to admit I was almost regretting it at around 7.30am when we stopped for breakfast at Jim’s Place and while I was sitting bleary-eyed over my instant coffee and toasted sandwich Dinky the singing dingo jumped onto a piano and started tapping the keys with his paw and howling. Not that I have anything against dingoes, (or pianos for that matter — although I think they sound better played by someone with fingers and an opposable thumb), and Dinky’s owner Jim had a lot of interesting facts about dingoes and the central Australian area, but do I remember thinking something along the lines of ‘what the hell am I doing here?’.

I suppose the caffeine started to kick in, ’cause I ended up really enjoying most of the trip. Walking around the base of Uluru was really impressive, the intense colour of the rock outlined against the sky. And I loved Kata Tjuta, if I ever go back there I would love to spend more time there, do the Valley of the Winds walk, which does right through the centre of the domes. It’s easy to understand why the sites are so significant to the Indigenous people from the area.

I was disappointed to see how few people seemed to pay any attention to the signs asking people not to photograph particular areas which are sacred sites though, and I got very sick of the woman in the tour who kept making the funny funny jokes about how people better not photograph anything cause the Abos (her word not mine obviously) might suddenly decide it’s a sacred site. It didn’t seem to matter to her that vast tracks of land all over Australia are privately owned and she would be trespassing if she went to any of them, but an Aboriginal tribe fences off a few square metres of the land around Uluru because they have been considered sacred sites for generations and don’t want tourists tramping all over them — well that’s outrageous.

There was a big pile of rocks that had been returned by people who had taken bits of Uluru and now wanted them to go back where they belonged. Reading through the letters was quite interesting. They ranged from people who had taken bits of rock twenty or thirty years ago when there was much less explanation about the rock’s spiritual significance to the Anangu people, to very cross parents who had just finished scolding there children. There were also a few people who were insisting that taking bits of rock had caused them bad luck. Interestingly, at lunch today a workmate said she knew a woman who had worked at Uluru for a few months and reckoned a lot of the rocks that were returned weren’t even from Uluru, but were completely different types of rock.

I’m so glad I got the opportunity to go, although it’s been a tiring few days catching up with work back at the office. I guess my being tired hasn’t been helped by the other four people in my section being sick or on leave today. I spent the whole day slowly working my way through an overflowing inbox in a totally empty office.

Here's some photos I just got developed today: :)

Salt lake north of Mt Connor

Kata Tjuta


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Raspberry wool & Firefly...

I guess my obsession must have dimmed, 'cause I only posted my order today. My delay was partly due to my being a bit cash-strapped for the last few weeks, but also due to me just not getting around to it.
I've also decided to make the jumper stripey. So my order is now for two colours, raspberry and (strangely in theme) cranberry. I also bought a ball of an Alpaca-Wool blend in dark green and a ball of bright orange wool. The orange wool is for my little brother, who asked me to make him a Jayne Cobb hat (from the awesome Joss Whedon tv show Firefly).
I think he was just being a smart-arse, which is enough to motivate me to make it for him. Apparently, he's not the only one out there who wants one. There's a list of free patterns here.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Current obsession

I named this blog after my current obsession, being the ten 200g balls of raspberry coloured 5ply yarn I'm ordering today from Bendigo Woollen Mills (email benwool @ with your name and address for a free shade card and an order form).

This is significant for 2 reasons:

  1. It's costing me a horrible amount of money

  2. I'm finally breaking away from small projects like hats, scarfs and tea-cosys (cosies?) and making something BIG. A jumper in fact, which is something of an essential when you find yourself living in Canberra.

I've found a design which I like, I've nearly made up my mind on the exact pattern and I'm going to buy 1 set of 4mm double-point needles and a 4mm circular needle tomorrow. Then it'll only be a matter of waiting for my wool to arrive, learning how to knit on a circular needle and then actually making the thing. It'll be easy I'm sure. :)