Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My Fortune Cookie told me:
Better start drinking now.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

Meme time!

Ok, so I've seen this meme around and unlike many of them I have always enjoyed reading this one. It is what every meme should be - informative, containing room for creativity and personal quirks and, most of all, short.

So here's my version

4 jobs I've had
1. Cleaner
2. Teaching English as a Foreign Language
3. Nightfiller in a supermarket
4. Kitchen Hand

4 movies I could watch over and over
1. Calamity jane
2. Toy Story (1 and 2)
3. The First Wives Club
4. Serenity

4 places I have lived (apart from where I am now)
1. Guiyang, China
2. Sichuan, china
3. Adelaide
4. Nope, that's it

4 TV shows I love
1. Firefly
2. The West Wing
3. Kath & Kim (although i often have to walk away from the TV)
4. Spicks and Specks

4 places I have been for a vacation
1. The Glenelg River
2. The Murray River
3. Falls Creek
4. Yunan

4 websites I visit daily - sorry nothing very exciting.
1. Bloglines
2. Google
3. Gmail
4. Podcast Alley (not really, but I've run out)

4 favourite foods
1. Chocolate - can you say predictable? Well, i love it.
2. YuXiangRouSi. this was my favourite dish in China and I miss it so much I've been known to have dreams about it.
3. Mangoes and peaches
4. Pasta

4 places I would rather be
1. In bed
2. Visiting my Best Friend in China - but only temporarily.
3. In my own (imaginary) house. Someday - someday soon, here's hoping
4. Somewhere quiet. Preferably an exotic beach or something, but I'd settle for a quiet parking lot at this particular moment.

4 people I am tagging

No one. If you like it, do as I did and just rip it off without being tagged. I am such a blogging rebel!

Friday, December 22, 2006

A very merry un-birthday...

Well, that's over for another year, anyway.

I had a bunch to say, mostly about how it's raining (we had a thunderstorm last night. Very unseasonable) and some meta-thoughts about blogging and podcasts, but I'm feeling a bit blah. So, in honour of jac having visited my blog and to cheer myself up in the traditional Aussie way, I will commence, instead, to tell a joke about New Zealand. Don't worry, there are no sheep involved.

Q: What's a Hindu?

A: It Lays Eggs


Picture from

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Birthday to meeeee....

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blah blah blah

I am so crafty. But you knew that.

I wasn't going to give the cousins presents this year. I went a bit overboard last year when I was in China, since I needed an excuse to buy all kinds of crap, and besides, when was I going to be there again? Maybe never. But my sister went ahead and bought them stuff - at least, the cousins on my Dad's side, who we will be seeing on the actual day. And then I think she freaked cos she had no money, so I agreed to go halves with her. Which means effectively that i just bought my own present from her. Which is fine by me. But then, the crafting bug struck. I'd seen the pattern on Little birds handmade, and then there's the Flickr group with all the adorable variations. So when it turned out that I'd been sucked into the present vortex, I knew I had to make some.

I scanned some for you since I still have no camera (argh)

This was my first effort ^

You can't see it, but there's metallic embroidery on this one,> in swirls and stuff

Aren't they bootiful? The one up the top under my sister's tree sign is possibly my favourite. Although that fabric looks like hell, scanning was not the best way to show you, but it was, I am afraid, the only way. The fabric for both I found in an op shop. I got that and a whole bunch of other stuff including a plaid skirt for $10. I love that place. I plan on fixing up my plaid skirt and making a petticoat for it, blatantly ripping off Inside a Black Apple, because I love that look. I already have pirate boots - sort of.

So, this is the vogue photo scanned for
Inside a Black Apple and stolen by me.
I credited, so it's not really stealing, right?

I was saying to my cousin yesterday that since I started reading blogs obsessively I have started to develop a better sense of my own style. I mean, I always knew what I liked, but when it came to having a cohesive view of how I wanted to look/decorate, I was lacking. Now, having spent hours online admiring other people's concoctions, I am much more able to - for example - find things I like in op shops. Also, I feel more confident about doing things like wearing a plaid skirt with a petticoat, or a knitted alpaca skirt (two comments of encouragement, did you see? Now I have to do it!) Part of it is being able to see how I could alter things. If you just look at a magazine you think "well, that's nice, but it's not me." If you see it online you can think "oooh, I like that. But not in that colour. Or maybe a bit shorter. Perhaps I could add a pocket? And then I wouldn't wear it with a top like that..."

I love it. It makes me feel so smart :P

The christmas tree has been up for a while. First time it went up we decorated it, put the pressies under... and then it fell over. Since it is a real tree (no shampoo for my wig. Only real poo. Anyone else remember that?) there was water everywhere and presents needed re-wrapping. Now they are beautiful, and multiplying. There is quite a significant pile there, and oh, how I wish you could see it! They make me happy just looking at the pretty packages. I only started to get excited about opening them yesterday. Not for me, I pretty much know what I'm getting from my parents, although my sister will prolly have got me some interesting small things. But I love watching people open the things I've got them, and seeing what other people got them, too. I love that surprise even better than getting something for me, almost.

My cardigan is coming along. I have the back, and one and a half sleeves. I want it to be done so I can start the cardigan for Arwen.

Since I got some comments, I wanted to let you know that they were from Jac from Six impossible things, which I love and is funny (totally read her 100 things profile bit) and from Julie from Fricknits, which is beautiful. It's one of those little corners of the internet that is somehow peacful and nice to visit. I love bloglines, but it is not the same, somehow. Plus, her photos are always wonderful, and make reading nice. It's always just the right ratio of words:photos. Her current photo-essay is great. I wanted to say this because I've taken my links down, since they were in no way representative of the blogs I read. In a month or so I might put it back up again, because I love some of these blogs and I love clicking the links in them and finding my way around the internet. For some reason I'm much more likely to enjoy a blog if I've found it through a wierd path of links than if I've actually searched for it. I think it's that community thing people keep going on about. :)

Anyway, that's enough rambling form me, I'll let you know when my trees are sewn up, although i am in mourning for the possibility of photographing them...

BTW, did I mention it was my dad's 50th on Monday? Happy birthday! And it's my 23rd on thursday. Oh, the joys of having your birthday 4 days before christmas!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Hello. This is your subconscious speaking. We have encountered some turbulence...

OK, so I know dreaming about things we do during the day is not unusual. I used to play Halo in my sleep, during that phase where so much of my social life revolved around the Xbox. (oh, yes. I almost miss it) So when I planned a cardigan in my sleep I wasn't too worried. I wasn't worried when I knit a sock as part of another dream. When I actually dream-knit a sock - the whole sock, every stitch - I became a little worried. Little did I know, that was nothing. Last night I dreamed I was reading my blogs on bloglines. But every time I got back to my feeds, there's be one or two new knitting ones, and boing boing had ten more. I couldn't keep up! It was like those dreams where you run and run and never get anywhere. Oh, my aching head.

Sometimes I wonder about my subconscious. Then I decide I don't want to know.

Re last post, I just listened to Episode 30 of Cast-on. I swear I only just did. This 'nothing new under the sun' thing gets a little wearying.

In other news, it's an extreme fire danger day today. Yay, summer has begun. My mother has us all freaking out as usual. And she wonders why I was an anxious child. Driving home from the city while your mother worries that your house might just not be there when you get home will do that to you. Ruined the suspense genre for me forever, that did.

I walked to work the other day, up the back of our property. I hadn't given a thought to snakes until, halfway up the firebreak, a brown snake that had obviously been sunning itself slithered away in front of me. Oh. My. God. I am no longer walking that way to work. Possibly never again. Possibly I will never even walk again, or set foot outside.

My father was digging a couple of years ago, and when he brought the shovel of dirt up, there was a brown snake's head sitting neatly on it. He'd dug into the burrow on sliced it's head neatly off, thank GOD, or it would have been mad and it might have been his head.

Snakes scare me. Not all snakesa. But anyone who isn't afraid of a brown snake is either stupid, suicidal or dead.

And since this is a knitting blog, I should mention that my test ball of wool for the Arwen cardigan came along in the mail - finally. So now I can swatch away. Hoorah.

Conversation with my sister last night:
Me: Do you like this colour?
Her: It's all right.
Me: It's for the 'Cardigan for Arwen'
Her: Who's Arwen?
Me: ....?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's twilight. My favourite time of day. It's early summer. My favourite time of year. The sun is just dipping over the hill, so that all the gum trees are lit up golden, and the light's all soft. The kangaroos are munching on the grass up the hill. I'm watching a blackbird sneak around the garden like he's James Bond, and the magpies have started to congregate on the strip on concrete between the house and the bush, as they like to do around a full moon. It's beautiful. I wish you could see it.

I'm feeling contemplative. Since I can't post pictures, I've been trying to write a post about something other than knitting. Also, the blogs I like best are the ones that have a nice ratio of FO's and begun projects, pictures of same, and real stories. There's stories of childbirth, miscarriage, and breastfeeding, of loss and of new life, of marriage, divorce, sickness and growth, and all the small triumphs and hardships that make up everyday life. They're why I like the internet, because real people with real stories are more interesting to me any day than some dumb celebrity with more money than they know what to do with. What's that? Brittney dumped KFed by sms? Who cares. (I only know this because Leo Laporte seems fascinated with it. These days, if it hasn't got some sort of rss feed, I don't know about it.)

Well, I couldn't write one. There's nothing really exciting happening in my life right now. Nothing I thought was blogworthy, anyhow. Sure, I've just finished a year of study, which was hard, and now I'm moving into the painful process of finding a job and a proper place to live, and starting a new phase of life. But the problem with that is that it's a period of change, and there's nothing to write about until the change has happened. But right now, I just wanted to share my mood, to let the world know that right now, right here, it's beautiful, and that I've noticed.

As an aside, I keep hearing that knitting is 'not just for grannies' and that 'young, hip people knit, too'. This is undoubtedly true. However, I realised today that my grandmother has the best fashion sense out of anyone I know, and knits and sews much cooler things than I ever will. So maybe it's not just knitting's image we need to try to update. What's wrong with grannies, I ask you? Must all grannies sit in rocking chairs with blue hair and glasses and knit only bootied and crochet only squares? Why does everyone think of this when the word 'grandmother' is mentioned? Why do I? Neither of my grandmothers is anything like this, nor is any grandmother I know. Given the amazing age we live to and are active to today, grandmothers are often still those young people who knit hip things. So what gives, people?

Did I spoil my nice contemplative mood? Oh well.

I was going to do a meme, but I need to save some things since it doesn't look like I'll have any pics for you for a while. So, here's stuff I wish I could show you:

1)the sign my sister made saying 'insert tree here' as a very subtle hint. It has a christmas gtree shape cut out of red spotty paper, & it's very cute
2) the twilight
3)the kangaroos
4)My nautilus that I must finish soon so my sister can take it in before school is done
5)The op-shop jumper that I half-felted today (mucho exciting!)
6)Where to find James Kim

(pictures c/o google images)

Monday, December 04, 2006

More words, less pictures

Just some miscellania. Sister got a rabbit. She has been begging for a rabbit for months now. We have always had rabbits. Our first we got when I was little. They were both albino, and I called them Bert and Ernie. As if to substantiate the rumours, Ernie started chasing Bert around the cage. So we went to get them desexed, and Ernie died under anesthesia. This lesson, I think, I have carried with me since ;-P Then we had the imaginatively named Blackie, who was with us for a while, keeping Bert company. When Bert died when I was in year 10, we were all very sad, and there was a rabbit lul. Then Sister got a grey long-haired bunny with gorgeous floppy ears and named it... wait for it... Flopsy. We are, like, so clever.

Well, this one is named Giacomo. After, apparently, Cassanova. I would like to explain this by stating the the whole household has a crush on David Tennant (known to all Harry Potter fans as Barty Crouch JR.), and my sister and I stayed up late one night watching the BBC mini-series of Cassanova. It was very good, and a little trippy.

This rabbit is small. It is black. The underside of its paws are white, it has a white blaze on its forehead, and it has an itty bitty white nose. It's j'adorable. And it's sitting huddled in the corner of its hutch FREAKING OUT. Okay, so rabbits aren't known for their bravery. But this poor thing just looks like it doesn't know what to do. Very sad. I'm sure it'll settle down soon to its base level of terror and it'll be fine.

In other news, I have to decide today what to do with the two jumpers I got from the op shop. I'm thinking I might thrift the yarn from one, and felt the other. Mymother thinks I should wear it, but the thing has shoulder pads, it's so eighties. I actually love the colours, they're very muppets, but I don't know if I could wear them. I'm thinking a bag, maybe. Am I brave enough to make a felted bag from a jumper? Maybe.

Also, have been put on a guilt trip by this. Some of those kids remind me so much of my students last year in China. And here I am, sitting on my bum, whingeing. Bah.

Speaking of whinging, how hard is it to tell you in the help section how to put a button on your blog? I guess it's so simple that everybody already knows... except me... (can you hear the violins?)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This and that.

So, I have been incredibly productive, knitting-wise. this may be because I have officially finished my honours year, and now I find myself at a bit of a loss. I got a 2a, if you're wondering, which is the third best. Not too bad, but not great, either, considering one of my friends got a first class. Then again, she had the year from hell, and just about killed herself with the stress, whereas I sort of floated through, in retrospect. Which means both that I got the score I deserved, for the amount of work I was willing to put in, and I am also happy with my result. Now that I've gotten over my jealousy and my might-have-beens. Frankly, I just wasn't prepared to put in the amount of extra work it would have taken. I should be, I know. It goes against the Protestant work ethic to admit that. But since I'm a lapsed-catholic/agnostic, I think that fits right in, don't you?

Anyway, the point is, I have some fantastic things to show you, but my sister has broken her camera (how inconsiderate!) so until she gets it fixed or I break down and buy myself one (but that would mean I couldn't afford more yarn!) I'll have to be content to show you what I did before she broke it.

I got excited by the discovery of fabric stash from goodness knows when, and whipped these up. I can sew sqaures, people! Are you proud of me? The idea was to cover the shelves in my wadrobe-thingy which store rarely used stuff. Because I'm living with my parents this year, and am back in my old, dark, TINY room (my sister's is huge. Don't get me started) there is a serious lack of storage space. Which is a problem I am well used to, being a pack-rat by nature. I have ribbon that I'm planning to make into proper... what would the word be? I'm planning on hemming the ribbon and sewing on snap-studs, for easy access. I was considering some embroidery, but I like them simple, especially since uncluttered space is at a premium in my life, even if it is vertical.

Along the same vein of reducing visual clutter:

I used more fabric-stash (it's got parrots on) to make a bag. I made it around a canvas green-bag. The idea occured to me a while back, since I am definately a novice-knitter. It was fun to make, but it's really too floppy, and the pockets are poorly placed. I might consider using it as a real bag, since I often use a green bag when lugging books etc around. They're a handy size. But it was not what my knitting needed, so I managed to find about 5 unused bags from my bag collection (you can never have too much wool or too many bags) which are now storing individual projects.

In leiu of photos, I'll just tell you what's on my needles:

1) Jo Sharpe cardigan: back cast off today. Front to commence as soon as I can work up the steam.
2) scarf for sister: almost finished the next installment. Now only one more strip, then blocking and finishing (oy)
3) A nautiloid as a chrissie present for an old science teacher (I am such a nerd. But she was my fave teacher, and my mother now works at my old school, and apparently the year 12s this year were less than grateful. Also, I've been dying to knit one. Gee, this was a long parenthesis) Almost done, only the tentacles left to knit.
4)Fingerless gloves: no more progress (boring)
5)Tool-case from Creative Knitting with fair-isle rose: finished, only blocking and finishing left. First attempt at fair-isle a little tight, but who's counting?
6)Cardigan for Arwen: eagerly awaiting yarn in the mail.

There. How productive am I? (That's a rhetorical question. The answer would be: very) Also fixated on the beret from Interweave Knits. My sister wanted me to knit one for her. I said, buy the yarn and I'll knit it. She discovered how much yarn costs and suffered a severe change of mind. Besides, after I've finished this blasted scarf and those gloves, I have decided I will no longer knit for her. She doesn't appreciate it. So there *crosses arms* So, if I have enough tweedy yarn left over when I finish this dratted scarf, which I think I will have, I'll be making a cream-coloured one for myself. I've discovered that knitting for oneself is lovely.

In other knitting news, I read a great kids book the other day. (I clean a primary school. I snoop in the library. So sue me) It was called Emily and the Dragon, and it was about Emily, who loved to dance, her pet chicken Egg and her noxious brother Jock who tells her at the start that "girls are feeble. They can't fight Dragons. Everybody knows that." To which Emily gamely replies "I don't know that." and sets off to find a dragon to fight.

Instead, she makes friends with a witch, a knight and the dragon who doesn't want to fight, she'd rather dance (everybody knows that dragons don't dance - I don't know) The reason it's knitting news is because the knight doesn't want to fight: he'd rather knit (but everybody knows knights don't knit.) Thankfully, Emily doesn't know that, and she teaches him, and there's some nice little educational graphics for any reader who'd like to join the knight. I thought it was charming, and the knight's droopy mustache reminded me of that Dick King Smith book - what was it?
I don't remember, but it was about a dubiously talented knight with a clever (talking) horse, and who is aided in the rescue of a princess by a horrible witch, who turns out to be both quite nice and the princess. I'm sure it was DKS. Anyway, I'll find out. It was a good book. Nice antidote to fairy-tale stupidness.

Well, i think that's enough rambling for now. I'm off to try to figure out how to put a button on my sidebar, and mayb e even update my links, which are woefully behind my voracious bookmarks. I'm addicted, people. Addicted...