Friday, 26 December 2008

Are PDA's worth all the fuss and maintenance??

Been a while since I wrote anything here but I've not been slacking I assure you all. No indeed I've been busy with work, Christmas stuff (Merry Christmas to you all) and with GT the dreaded PDA-time-sucking-devil-in-disguise. The whole point of these (wonderful??) devices is that they become your life in a widget. All your contacts, files, knitting patterns, web stuff, mail and God knows whatever else. Until they go bad that is!
GT has spat it big time. He won't talk to any computers and ActiveStink (aka Microsoft ActiveSync) isn't helping at all. Hasn't worked for around a month in any feed style. As a consequence I have deleted his hard drive and installed a new operating system but still nothing. AS spins but doesn't synchronise and no reasons are given for this. You just have to wear it. Because I have a new operating system, I can't now reinstall an old backup (tried it!) as the phone refuses to work then and that's fairly pointless - a PDA/phone without the phone bit - riiiight! So I have the phone but no contacts so I have to remember the numbers but hey, that's why I got the PDA so I don't have to do that. Doh! Think I'm over it all and have pretty much decided it's time for a new phone. Technology, who needs it! Anyone want to buy a slightly abused O2 Flame?

On the knitting front, things are doing OK. Finally finished my crocheted shrug/shawl and almost done with Landon too so took the Christmas opportunity to cast on something new - the Janet Lace Shawl. Also wanting to play with my drop spindle but need some time alone with it to really work out how this will happen. Stay tuned......

Finally back to bicycles - my Cateye has clicked over 3500 kilometres which I am assured is over 2000 miles total since I got the CX2. Worked down at the hospital on Christmas Eve and rode home with tinsel on the handle bars. Amazingly only one or two people bothered to comment and offer Season's Greetings. The place really IS going to the dogs.

Merry Christmas folks and a glorious and prosperous New Year to you all!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Moving on with the UFO's

In a radical move, I am trying to actually finish a few things so that I can (you guessed it) start some more. With the hot weather kicking in this week (up to 35 degrees Celsius already!!), I feel the need for some tank tops or cotton bags rather than thick scarves and fingerless gloves (still going on the Tofutsies sockettes though.)
I also have several pieces outstanding from the Ravelry Mission Possible 2008 including the cobweb cardi (now in the final ribbing stages), the lace cardi (still untouched), the crocheted shawl/shrug and some fingerless gloves still not cast on. I'm sure there was a fifth item but can't recall what that was....oh! That's right! It was my Alex Jacket by Debbie Bliss but I've actually finished that one. Phew! So only four to go and only one not yet started. It will be cool again this weekend so perhaps I can cast that on then.

My stint in Hat Attack 2! for those who are dying to find out, lasted less than I had hoped. I knitted; I killed and was in turn, killed (see pics for Lucy posing as Death Hat model). Less than a week elapsed in fact – disappointing considering my long turn with Sock Wars III. I always considered that Hat Attack 2! would be a bit “flash in the pan” in comparison though, hats being relatively quick to knit. The quickest of the designated weapons was made in 4 hours I believe. That person really needs to get a life!

To bring everyone up to date, The Big Green Hat, my Icarus Shawl and my Lavender Lace socks were entered in this year’s Perth Royal Show. The Knitting Nanas who shall judge us all have decreed that the Icarus was a prizewinner and blue ribboned it (loud cheering and clapping…takes bow!). The BGH unfortunately achieved only a highly commended and looked very forlorn draped inartistically behind some jumper and a nothing sort of ‘scarfy’ thing.

The socks were a devastating disaster for me however. The Nanas obviously had no idea how to display socks and my beautiful stripy masterpieces were stuffed and poked into a corner. How the mighty are fallen!

Not so bad though. The Knitting Nanas did take me up on last year's suggestion to give feedback on their marking. I expressed a belief that to improve you must get some critique on your work. It certainly isn't the prizes I entered for (nice though the accolades are but you basically only receive a money back offer for first or second), it’s the potential to see where I’ve gone wrong and fix it next time. The critique and suggestions were reasonable but perhaps not what I had hoped for.

C'est la guerre! There's always next year for my ultimate triumph!! Keep tuned for the next exciting installment...................

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Late for an update

It's been a while I think since I've posted here with much agony over Cadel's loss at both TdF and the Olympics. Sorry but riding with a torn cruciate - stooooopid! Been there, done that, got the post-surgery arthritis. Game over!

Since I last joined you in the ether of the internet and blogging world I have been to Adelaide for a week (work and catching up with rellies), submitted to the Perth Royal Show knitting display - pictures are attached - and completed the Perth City to Surf 12 kilometre walk in the most amazing (for me) time of 2 hours 18 minutes and 14 seconds. At least this time they weren't packing up when I got in! Friend Jane, husband Perry and myself secured that most sought after of walk prizes, the sausage in a bun and then, due to still-in-place road blocks, walked a further 3 km to our pick up point.

My knitting career is going from strength to strength - at least I thought it was until I checked in with the Ravelry Mission Possible 2008 forum and realised that out of my 12 designated projects, only 7 were completed. That leaves five in a state of "unstartedness" or "yet-to-be-frogged/reviewed-ness". Damn!

I have to say that one of the completed ones is my Rona Lace Shawl, aka The Big Green Hat named for it's awesome resemblance to a large Ecky Thump style beret/flat cap while on the circular needle. It did look fairly wrinkly before I borrowed some blocking wire and gave it a major stretch.

Also joining the shawl at the show are my stripey socks, started at a board meeting to keep my hands busy and my eyes open. The third item is my Icarus shawl. Now for some reason the ladies at the show (Nanas who Knit, hereafter referred to as NWK's) will only allow one entry per section. Crafty knitter here has flummoxed the NWK's by putting the Icarus into the lace section and Rona, knitted in KnitPicks baby alpaca 100% into the alpaca section. Hope they don't pick me up for that one but will let you know how it goes at the end of the month when I see how they went.

This may be the last year for entries as well. Yours truly can't see the point (other than out-and-out boasting) of entering such competitions without any feedback for my efforts. Case in point - my crocheted knee rug last year got a second. There was no first but there was also no feedback so I have no idea why I fell short. Had a long e-mail "discussion" with one of the NWK's regarding this and she was going to take it back to her fellows. We await the outcomes this year.....

Monday, 4 August 2008

Post Tour Depression creeps in

OK so there are no more men's arses wrapped in lycra to watch until the Olympics and given China's record with human rights and their censorship aspirations at this stage, I'm not sure whether I will be watching much other than the news coverage. Thinking of using the time to catchup on movies I've not seen yet! And let me tell you there are plenty of those.
On the knitting front, I have recommenced work on some socks, the Rona Lace shawl (after going one step forward and two back) and I've completed one hat and started the one promised to my nephew a month ago. Pictures will follow as will the gasps and exclamations when I sort through the disaster that is my abode currently. I seem to have been using it as a run through dumping ground and the piles are now falling over as I try to find something "I am sure I put here just yesterday!" That includes yarn and needles (good excuse to buy more as I can't find the stuff I purchased just the other day for certain projects!!)
The enormity of the cleanup is daunting. My reason for sitting in front of the computer just now is to deal with the tax thingy and get rid of that but before I can start - there's the filing. Heeeelllllppppp! See you at a knit 'n' bitch sometime soon.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Paris, Friday To quote our favourite BBC commentators, “This was a massive great big win for Hélène at a critical point in the race and her career!” In order to gain this advantage, she rode over the top of the much favoured Thor Hushovd as well as Oscar Freire, both of whom lost huge chunks of time. It was a case of, “Bridge to engine room – more power – and it was just there!” she was heard to say.
Rumours abounded regarding a téte á téte she was seen having with teammate Thor following the race. It seems to have been a discussion over who would be leading the Team Crédit Agricole sprinters over the line on the Champs. No one was quite sure of the outcome as neither rider has commented. This reporter has been unable to confirm the story as Team CA management are being deliberately tight-lipped. We think that Oscar and Thor were at the finish by the scruff of their racing shorts but Hélène barely seemed to break a sweat. Only the final kilometres will tell the outcome of this Tour.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Green for Helene - What now for this star sprinter?

The story of this Green Jersey contender is almost three weeks long. It involves many highs and lows. It was tough going and at times, it was thought that this rider would not make the cut. A lack of acknowledgement of the firepower inherent in her needles meant that Helene was not necessarily the rider most consider had what it took.

What style! What finesse! She saw her opportunity and cut a swathe through the peleton. Admittedly there were moments in the Pyrenees where she looked ready to quit. The agony of the constant K2P2 over and over and over was almost more than she could take. But she's such a trooper, she got through that. Then a period of relative 'calme' as we went across country and then - les Alpes and the fall.

In an unforseen incident a clip of the front wheel and she went over the edge on the downhill. Fans held their breath (pause for effect) but she was able to hold onto her bike and rejoin the race unlike Augustyn who sadly, never regained his position.

All this has been toward today, a stage win with maximum points - a first for her team in this arena. As the reporters crowd in, the team bodyguard ensures that her team mates are able to join in her celebration. She falls to her knees as her bike is wheeled away. Sobs are heard. She has waited so long for this to happen, now, to finally have achieved her's almost too much. The papers will report her victory over Oscar and Thor and print endless versions of "that" photo - who can tell what Thor said during the conversation?

The ride to Paris now will be much of an anticlimax. There are some opportunities for her but just to hold the Green is enough today. It is debateable whether she will return to her usual domestique role for the GC rider she and her teammates hope will hold yellow next Sunday. As holder of the Green, the team should support her in keeping this. Stay tuned to tomorrow's column........

Thursday, 24 July 2008


Here I am again to show the almost there Bon Chance (aka Bellini). I have button bands and collar as well as the buttons and have started the (urghh!) sewing up process. Just what is the right way to sew up a multi-coloured cardi any way?? If you use the yarn as is the colours just don't oblige by changing as required. The only real way of doing this is with itty-bitty bits of yarn to match the worked area. How much am I bothered?? Depends where the seam is I guess. Stay tuned. I hope to be wearing this to cheer the riders during the time trial next Saturday. If I wasn't typing this and freezing in front of the computer, I'd have it finished and be watching the Tour right now. Doh!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Le Tour et Cadel

Well who would have thought - only 1 second - and injured as well! I know I'm supposed to be on Team Credit Agricole (go Thor!) but my heart remains with Cadel. I winced as the docs treated his wounds while he cycled and watched keenly as he pedaled last night (Western Australian time). Kinda glad there's a rest day today as I need a break from the excitement, Cadel needs the R&R and I need an alternative to K2P2 ribbing.
Speaking of the TdF KAL, the Bellini (aka Bon Chance) moves on apace and I have almost (well two-thirds of the way anyway) done the ribbing on both fronts as well as the back. I decided that if the riders were doing lots of climbing, I should stick with the evil stuff and get it out of the way. I can always save the button bands (groan!) and the sewing up (yuk!) for the Alpine section. Quite pleased with the way the colour is developing for the front having noted in Ravelry that one knitter bought a whole extra ball to match hers. I thought part of the fun with Noro yarn was watching to see the colours change. One front is going from purple to green and the other from purple to charcoal before going green. The sleeves are kind of staggered and the back has a charcoal band in amongst the lime green ribbing before going purple. Love it! It's going to look great with black stuff (tick!) and jeans (double tick!)
You're probably all wanting to see more pictures but you will all have to wait until next weekend and the Alps for further glimpses of Bon Chance (or keep an eye on my Ravelry project page JIC!!)
A la retour mes amis!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Le Tour - deuxieme semaine

We join our intrepid knitter on her quest for le maillot vert as she steams ahead with the 24 centimetres de K2P2 rib - who picked this project anyway??? I hate ribbing, particularly K2P2. At the pub knit this afternoon, my fingers insisted on trying the staggered look, inserting the occasional K1P2 or even K1P1 (harder to spot the mistake on that). In spite of the ribbing, I have completed the sleeves and 23cm of the 24 required prior to changing needles and stitches. I figure that I should try to complete the back before the end of week 2 otherwise I won't have enough time to actually do the finishing. And as we know, the Tour is all about the finish! Just ask Cavendish.

Team Credit Agricole are at eleventh position (go team!) but my heart is still with Cadel. I note that Team Silence-Lotto is below TCA though.... I was trying not to look as the peleton went around that slick corner in Toulouse 'cause I could see that ending in a lot of tears. C'est la guerre! I console myself with the fact that after 24 cm of K2P2 rib, the whole back piece is only 56cm total. I'm almost halfway done with it when that's finished. Ha!
A la retour mes amis!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

More socks, WWKIP and the Tour.

Haven't done this for a while so I have a lot to catch up on. Those geeks reading this will be pleased to know that Georgie-Too is performing well after some software hiccoughs and, due to a consensus view along with the lack of major cables I have to travel with now, will become the PDA/phone of choice. RIP Georgie!

On the Sock Wars III front (pun intended), some will know of the sudden end forced on combatants in which the official winner was decided on a postcard draw. With the unofficial war continuing, I am currently very much alive but have reason to believe my death is now imminent. Depends whether I get SIPs or Detonators first. I have killed twice - a good record for my first Sock Wars I think - and survived to be one of the last 25% (approx) remaining. I have now become very appreciative of the value of a socky project as being extremely portable and very satisfying. I have also learned the mysteries of magic looping and never intend to return to dpns again!

You would all be aware (if not, go out and slap yourselves soundly now please) of World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKIP) on Saturday June 14th. Perth had a very satisfactory turnout due to my constant prodding I suspect as well as some great kindnesses on the part of the weather gods. Indeed it was so warm that sunburn was a serious risk for those of us who spent the large part of the day in residence. At our maximum, we had between 20 and 30 folk from a variety of Perth knitting groups as well as some coopted teddy bear making friends of mine and some others who have yet to join a knitting group.

Nicole's badges were delayed unfortunately so we had to verbally let people know of our intentions but some flyers were distributed with knitting group details and the Ravelry web address attached. For me the best part was putting faces to the Rav names that I have seen since I joined the fold in early February (it must have been longer than that!) Thanks go to Westozcat for her librarian-ish ways in bringing names stickers and a marker. For a non-name-enabled person such as myself, it was a Godsend.

You can see from the hat use and brightly lit backgrounds in the pics here that it was a beautiful winter's day for us. We had visitors of course. When somthing like this is scheduled at a public coffee spot in town centre, that's bound to happen. The anti-Scientology marchers went by twice but we were unable to persuade them to knit away their fears. Something to do with those masks of...Tom Cruise perhaps?? We had, early on, a small group of Perth City Council workers who put up a brave front but I think were secretly dying to have a go with sticks & string. A pharmacist colleague of mine who moved to work interstate a couple of years ago just happened to seat himself and his wife close by and I was able to catch up - very serendipitous! I had a bag of assorted oddments and some spare needles for those who came unequipped - fancy, going to a WWKIP with NO KNITTING! - and a friendship blanket was started. Of course I will now have to ensure that it gets completed.

In the photo above, you may also just see my bicycle chained to the barrier. Yes - I combined my love of knitting with a quick ride to town for coffee and a chat. I wasn't the only one and hopefully we will have more two-wheeled knitters as winter turns to spring. The Exomod knitters encompass three of those who cycle currently - some who cycle much more than me I know!

Which leads me nicely to the Tour. Which tour you ask? Only a non-cycling person would ask that I suggest - the Tour de France mes amis! I registered as a contender for the green jersy in a TDF KAL. Basically I have the timelines of the Tour - around three weeks - to start and complete a project. It is supposed to be themed but as the tour crosses boundaries (it started in London last year) and actually goes into Italy at one point, I am pushing to be able to do Bellini, one project that I have everything for already (no further purchases required - a good thing!) that I think I can manage. The aim of this colour jersy is not to do anything too difficult but to be able to sprint across the line and gain maximum points for your team - in my case Team Credit Agricole. Only one problem. As an Australian, I feel the need to go for Cadel Evans to win and he isn't in my team. Qu'elle domage!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

I'm a survivor!!

As of this afternoon, I (or should I say) Sockittome! am one of 41% (474) remaining Sock Warriors in Sock Wars III - tale of The Detonator. And I have killed! There is blood on my needles. Liberty forwarded her socks of doom to me and I received these with Tuesday's post and am working my way through another Detonator-type situation. I feel that I know this pattern now. Doesn't make it any easier when you're tired to count those shifting rows when you forgot which pattern repeat you were up to but there you go! Stay tuned for regular updates. I fear as my first Sock War, death cannot be too far away however at least two above me (my assassin and my grand-assassin are already kaput so I have some breathing space I think. That postman just keeps coming though. Any day now.......

On a positive note, I have also enabled the New Widget, hereafter known as Georgie-Too or GT. GT is a replacement for the four-year-old Georgie my first PDA-phone. GT (admit you were waiting for this), goes faster but there are no stripes - that was my Top Gear-type reference in case you didn't spot it. Because of GTs bursts of speed, he seems to have a habit of going to sleep at inappropriate moments. Don't get me wrong, GT can work in his sleep but it is a little disconcerting to be doing something and the screen goes black. Pretty freaky the first time actually! Getting a bit used to it now.

When setting up the Widget I have always found that the putting on of the programmes is the tricky bit. Then comes the keeping them all running in a harmonious and central processor sharing kinda way so that you can use what you want when you like. With Georgie, I had issues at the start until we developed a good working relationship. I would load on all that useful info (like phone numbers and contact details and documents I needed), travel somewhere (like Sydney) and Georgie would promptly drop his bundle along with any useful information. This effectively meant that instead of Georgie the PDA-phone, I had Georgie the handbag weight. Hoping that apart from the sleepy time thing that GT doesn't give me the same issues because GT is easier to travel with. Less cables and other extraneous paraphernalia to keep him full of juice. With Georgie, I had to take the adaptor and the charging cable plus another cable if he wanted to chat with any of his computer friends. GT only requires one cable (same one as the MP3 player I already have) and that will do it all - no adaptor required. So for the price of two Widgets, I need one cable and a plug (or a friendly computer to sap the charge from!)
Stay tuned for the story of GT and his travels (will he respect Georgie too much not to do the same?) and the tale of Sockittome! and her death-defying project skills.....

Saturday, 17 May 2008

A Sock Wars Followup

...And in posting my pair of Detonator socks this morning, I was met by a severe lack of humour on the part of Australia Post. The lady behind the counter was very unsure about whether I could have the words "War" and/or "Detonator" on the outside of my parcel and pretty much insisted they be blanked out. Understand that the parcel was open so she could see the socks, feel them if she wanted to in fact. I scribbled the offending words off but am unsure now whether the parcel will actually go anyway.

Liberty, bless her, responded to my "Bang Bang you're dead!" e-mail with an air of resignation. She asked whether she should continue knitting or just send me the socks. Given that I don't know whether I shall be alive when she gets my socks, I told her to keep going. I now live in fear of the postman!!!

To be continued.......

Too long between posts - of alpacas, Sock Wars and bicycles.

Too much has happened since I wrote last - riding the bike back from Mandurah to Perth - didn't quite make that one but did get as far as Cockburn Central train station and achieved over 75km for the day in bigger blocks than I had ridden before.

Went with Mt Lawley SnB girls to see alpacas at Whiteman Farm again. Vicki & I rode there - Vicki with a flat tyre handicap start that turned into a flat tyre handicap finish. Two different bikes as well. Who'd a thought? We had to be rescued by the Knight on his White Commodore as the new tube we pain stakingly inflated and checked, refused to come to the party and do it's bike-ly duty once inside the tyre.

The 'pacas were good though but the best part was that f.a.b. fashion parade (see above) with those oh so stylish newbie recruits - wasn't that bloke fantastic girls?? Lunch also excellent and pretty much falling out of the bun. Coffee rated 2* out of a possible 10 though - not to be recommended! Overall a good day for 'pacas and a bad day for credit cards as books, suri alpaca and silk laceweight, as well as sweets and various childish wind-up toys went home with us to amuse all at the next Knit 'n' Bitch session.

I purchased the abovementioned yarn in two colourways in the end as I have become involved in a couple of Ravelry swaps - the purple - my first and perhaps not the best and the Good Karma/Guilty Pleasures for whom the yarn was purchased. The latter resulted in a stash enhancing two skeins of angora/cormo blend fingering weight yarn as well as numerous yummy items including a one pound box of Oreos - quite nice with ice cream we discovered here at Chez Harrow.

Also getting into the swing with this years Sock Wars and the debate around whether the Detonator has an 8 or 9 stitch pattern repeat - Exomod straw poll says 8. In any case at this writing I still live (cheers echo through the crowd) and my socks are done and free to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting Liberty - feel free to drop her a line in her demise on my behalf (SockItToMe! - Mwah ha ha ha ha ha! ) My socks were possibly not the finest in the land but they weren't a shabby pair either even if I did make them myself. They are at least in the required Tofutsies. Check them out and see for yourself. I say good but I await Liberty's assessment on this. I suspect they will be the droopy lay about socks that they started out to be and stay a comfy indoor sock variety rather than the stiff upper lip sort that will go out walking and wear hiking boots.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Update on activities - new ways of spending?

Well since I posted last I have become an eBay user. This is not a good thing really. It's just a whole new way for me to shop and possibly purchase items that maybe I need (and maybe not.) All I can say is that in a week, I have found and bought a new widget to replace Georgie the PDA - now 4 years old and slow, slow, slow (files are so big these days). I also seem to have acquired a few old knitting mags - some more interesting than others - as well as some sock yarn for my sock warrior stint in Sock Wars III (I will triumph! Doom to all who stand in my way.)
There's all manner of crap out there that people expect to get paid for. Oh but wait! I can do this too and I found myself looking around the room 5 minutes ago thinking of things I could list for sale - clothes (who needs them?), ironing board (certainly don't use that), vacuum cleaner (totally overrated cleaning).
We also have all these bikes, 7 in total. Perry does use a range of them but really... I have a 'flat bar' and a weighsatonandIcan'tmoveit mountain bike. The rest are his. Two mountain bikes, a flat bar and a few extraneous road racers. He has one set up on a trainer in the back room to keep fit when it rains (see the pic of our indoor road warrior). Surely I could just pop one of those on eBay, make a bit of cash and support not only my yarn habit but my newly discovered eBay shopping addiction. Easy peasy! Hmm, he may notice though must be careful and use stealth... I shall work on this and get back to you all soon with my results.
So says Sockittome, Sock Warrior extraordinaire!!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Expressing my Inner Sock Warrior

OK I think I may be in too deep now. I registered today for Sock Wars III as the warrior Sockittome having only ever knitted one pair of socks before. Yes they were lace and had a picot edge cuff - I wasn't after the easy option here - but they did take a significant amount of time I recall. Don't know how much but I do remember being fascinated when I got to the heel. I had listened to those who had "socked" before me -"Just follow the pattern and it will just work," they said. I went for a Sunday afternoon walk - too late for a sit down coffee at Avenue Nine - I had to take it away and sit on the wall near the civic centre where I TURNED MY FIRST HEEL. A thing of wonder! I remember looking at it and thinking WOW, it does work. When I read the pattern, something I almost never do, I couldn't figure out how it would, but it did.

Moving on - I read something about sock wars somewhere, then last weekend a full page in one of those glossy American knitting mags and I thought there's a challenge. Never one to take the easy route (I shall probably be gunned down as I cast on my first stitch) I shall just take it as it comes.
The whole thing is playing havoc with the cats though. Oskar doesn't know what to do and will probably just sleep off the whole thing whereas Lucy......I don't know where it will end. Stay tuned.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Hanks or Balls?

Following a fairly intense period during which many hanks made even more balls, I have come to the conclusion that a dedicated human helper or a yarn swift is required. It wasn't so much the hanks of silk, slippery though it is, that were the issue. And I really though that the mohair would be the deal-breaker - but even that paled into insignificance next to two hanks of Filatura di Crossa 's Centolavaggi.

This yarn was originally purchased at the Wool Baa in Albert Park, Victoria on one of my whistle-stop tours because it was such a glorious shade of red-orange I couldn't let it stay there (plus there were numerous options for its use for a project from Victorian Lace Today!) The problem is it is laceweight and long and in hanks.

It was the last of my yarn in hanks that I had a "hankering" (sorry about that) to wind up. It was late, heading towards midnight on Friday and I had to do it then didn't I. Knew it would end in tears but that didn't matter, it would be done. The first one - teased out over the knees went slowly and with a couple of hiccoughs but it wasn't until the last little bit that I ended up breaking the thread due to a particularly difficult knot. So the finished products are one large and one tiny ball from that hank.

Hank the second - screams could have issued from the room except that it was now closer to 1am and HMV was in bed asleep. I spoke to it (yes, it happens!). I cajoled but the knot wouldn't budge and I had to retire defeated - for now. I covered the remaining unwound yarn with a cloth so that stray cat claws wouldn't tangle the rest worse than I had.

Saturday - couldn't face the yarn issue. Went and had a relaxing pedicure - only for the foot massage you understand - and proceeded to knitting in the city @ Borders. Managed to secure some beautiful yarn for my Ravelry purple swap - yay! By the time I arrived home, Mum was there collecting her now neatly balled yarn and preparing for a night out on the tiles. I co-opted her assistance to complete the task - tame human, also a knitter who can appreciate the agony of the hank.

It was - how shall I put it - an interesting session to say the least. Once we had beaten the remainder of the hank into submission, Mum counted no fewer than 10 odd lengths that had been included with it. I initially thought I must have accidentally caught the yarn with my scissors when I removed the ties the night before (it was very late and I was very tired). Every time we thought we had just two ends - the one on the ball winder and the other end - another one or two or more appeared to tangle and confuse. I've never had this happen before and don't know of anyone else who has but I now have three balls and numerous ends ranging in length from 10cm up to 40cm or so. Curiouser and curiouser....:)

Friday, 28 March 2008

Bye, bye Dad!

We said our final goodbyes to my Dad yesterday as Mum, Perry and I placed his ashes in the ground of the Remembrance Garden at Fremantle Cemetery (map here). He is under the seat closest to the 'A' garden near the Gazebo and has a lovely view across the gardens to what we think will be more development later but is now semi-bushland. It was a lovely sunny day as you can see from the pictures taken, some of which are shown here.

Monday, 24 March 2008

New records set and new targets needed

Following a relaxed Easter weekend during which knitting, hot cross buns and coffee were combined Chez Harrow, your two-wheeled knitter extraordinaire has eclipsed her previous mammoth target for cycling. Easter Monday saw a dash to Bertram to ensure my Mum had recovered from her disgusting between seasons cold. When I say dash, it took over two hours to ride from Maylands (Chez Harrow) to Betram, a distance my Cateye tells me was some 44.45km.

After freshening up, we dined at a boardwalk cafe for lunch and had a celebratory ice cream desert as today was my brother's birthday. He wasn't there you understand - he was travelling from one place to another (in this case Kalgoorlie to Australind preparatory to travelling from Australind to Townsville tomorrow - whatever!)

The initial plan was to catch the wonderful Mandurah train back to civilisation however the adventuress in me took over. My total on the Cateye approached the magical 2,000km mark and I was sitting on 1979 (an interesting year however to close to the target to leave alone!) New plan - ride to Cockburn Central and catch train then ride from Perth Central to home thereby clicking over the ****2000**** mark. Anyone who has ridden this stretch of Perth's cycleways will tell you that boring does not cut it on the stretch down to Rockingham. The only break in the monotony is to count the change in the number of new roof tops.

We achieved Cockburn Central however the Cateye twinkled at me - less than 10km to go. Don't give up now. New plan - Bullcreek or boredom but which would come first. Neither it seems and I ended up in a sorry state nearly 48km later at Harrow Street again. Dinner and a shower didn't fix the issues and I am retiring - not yet defeated - but with 2028.9km on the Cateye.

The sad news in all this is that I was far too knackered to go to KnB @ Exomod this Easter Monday. I have however not abandoned the knitting boat this weekend entirely. I completed my assigned animal - the Boobook Owl - from the Australian book researched by Kita and I also sewed together and completed my Noro Cuthbert jacket. Both look pretty good I can tell you.

Unfortunately to balance these achievements, I have frogged Mum's jacket sleeves but reknitted them using bigger needles. I discovered by trawling around Ravelry a bit this weekend that the yarn I should have used was a 10 ply and the yarn I did use is an 8 ply. Gone up two needle sizes and the completed fabric is still fairly dense and most suitable but a little better in size than before - I was almost on guage before but not quite you see. This only became apparent as the length of sleeve grew but there you go. A 10 by 10cm tension swatch would have given me a similar result except that I would have had a tension swatch saying guage was right when in fact over distance, it was wrong! Thus my case for the sleeve as a swatch - QED!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Knitting Bitches ride the freeway!

Today several now severely traumatised Cycling Bitches realised a dream and rode their bikes up to Joondalup from Belmont, a distance of 30 kilometres. Of the group consisting of Helen, Vicki, Jane and Sue, Helen and Vicki carried the leader torch for knitters of a certain calibre by coming in above their recognised group and finishing in a record (for them) of about 1 hour and 11 or so minutes.

Celebrations in the form of a lamb curry and ice cream brunch (don't knock it 'til you've tried it) went on for at least half an hour before the group, including trainer Perry, moved to the Italian restaurant renowned for the slowest coffee service on the planet. Unfortunately the riders were not aware of this. Helen did try to order at the counter - just three coffees - and was told that there was table service. Ten minutes later table service came and went and came again, this time with an order pad. Orders were placed. Orders did not appear and it seems now that perhaps we had ordered from a waitress who worked at another establishment as still no coffee appeared. Dejected, our intrepid riders returned home via TransPerth's most excellent train service followed by a quiet lie down and a cuppa.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

An update - the yarn stash in reality

Joining Ravelry has been a bit of an eye opener in that I'm starting to put more and more of those knitting related bits onto the site as I stumble on them and it's looking scary. Starting to wonder if I shouldn't be a LYS instead of visiting them so often. Then of course I look around at a few other profiles and realise I'm not as bad as some (still not good though).
I have discovered for instance that I used to have a love affair with really bad 80's patterns (in crochet!!) That one got an almost immediate frog treatment which just leaves me with a pile of 5ply acrylic with no home (read project).

Recently decided that the arthritis in my fingers had stopped aching for a bit so I should inflict pain by slamming my finger between a metal door handle and a tiled wall. Do you know that hurts an awful lot! I can't bend my finger because I've split the skin across the knuckle and it's just not healing well (middle finger, right hand - yes I'm right-handed!) On the good side - I can't do much in the way of washing dishes as I have to cover it. I've never done good dishes wearing rubber gloves. Bad side - showering with a plastic bag on your hand.
I can still knit as I don't seem to engage that finger so much. I only have to bend it slightly to knit and this is a good thing. Typing this is an issue as I can't use that finger. I never thought I did but now realise that I had actually learned to use more than just my index finger. Bugger!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Melbourne in February

Nice to be back in Perth after spending a couple of days at meetings in Melbourne. The weekend starts with a 6am flight and rollaboard suitcase for fast getaway and maximum use of shopping time. This creates issues as knitting - not allowed, nail grooming implements - not allowed, Swiss army knife with handy scissors, corkscrew, knife (of course) and assorted other useful items - not allowed!

I have discoved that bamboo doesn't appear to appear on the X-ray scanners though - or they don't pick up on what it is. For whatever reason, I can usually sneak a small project through for the day or so I'm away so that I don't suffer major withdrawal. The alternative - going to the Wool Baa or Cleggs and purchasing a new project and yet another set of 4mm needles (or circular) doesn't bear thinking about. I still visit these places when I can but don't feel as compelled to create knitting related opportunities.

Saturday afternoon shopping - Mimco Aisle store on Bridge Road a regular favourite. This time yielding a nice necklace, a current season's scarf at markdown that was used plus other assorted bits and bobs and Jazzy's gold shopper. Other stores to suffer under my scrutiny were Country Road and Ojay. Things required were a jumper (it was consistently 20 degrees or below and me a freezebug), a long sleeved T and a black cropped suit jacket - marked from $249 to $42. How could I say no?

Sunday and Monday full day meetings with flight home on Monday night and this is where it all went wrong. The fire alarms went off at 1.30am and I'm on the 9th floor - meeting at 8.30am remember! Missed "Robin Hood" and half of "Grey's" and forgot to remind husband to tape "Housewives". Could have done that while Qantas had us sitting on the tarmac for half an hour or so prior to take-off. Then the whole Perth airport experience - for a change my suitcase - checked in this time due to purchase of sharp objects - came off almost first. Queue for taxis and any other transport unthinkable so walking with luggage that was shopping and meeting enhanced, met HMV on the city side of the Brearly Avenue roundabout. Much easier if only the losers in 4WD didn't scare people by speeding so much.

End result of weekend from a knitting perspective - cast-on an odd-ball of maroon wool/silk to try and make the beanie seen in DJ's the previous week (see below for original) - it's working quite nicely thanks. Some lace weight joined the throng for yet another shawl. Long weekend next one so lots of knitting time - I hope - it is Labour Day after all!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Bears are taking over my house!

The above said frequently by "'im indoors" when traversing said house from front door to rear. The only rooms uninhabited by bears are the bathroom (that's the one with the bath) and the bog or dunny (that's the one our US friends know as the bathroom). I suspect the only reason for this is that the bears usually s**t in the woods and have other more environmentally friendly ways of making themselves smell better in a beary kind of way. Who knows? I've just never seen them in there.

They do however like to hang around the craft areas and tie my knitting yarns in knots. They are constantly hiding my favourite circulars in strange and unusual places too. I shall take the furry devils in hand and deal with some of their more troublesome habits. I am threatening - somewhat unsuccessfully - to thin their numbers however they still multiply, seemingly overnight. Any suggestions for curtailing these nocturnal activities can be addressed here. Their leader, one GWB (the Great White as he is also known) appears to be the ringleader and I am attempting to cultivate his aquaintance. Stay tuned!

Saturday, 16 February 2008

The KnitTrainExtravaganza

The Exomod Knitter's went for their very first KnitTrainExtravaganza today. And what a day it was. Much yarn (and fabric) was fondled and returned only to be glanced at and taken to the the lovely check out ladies of the day who were only too delighted to relieve their crecit cards of the required $$. Many of us stated that this was the final stash enhancement of the year (well, perhaps just the season? Whatever!) That remains to be seen.
The day commenced at 10am in Brew Ha in Subiaco with coffee and proceeded apace to Crossways. Following this, yarn was seen to be taken to an underground carpark out the back of Roberts Road - this does not bode well! We think an illegal yarn trade is commencing and IT WILL BE POLICED!
After a short train ride, Calico and Ivy was attacked with vigour and, despite the season and more hot and sticky weather still to come, a quilt left the premises firmly gripped in a knitter's hands. More yarn also escaped its shop-based captivity and the Knitter's went on to Fremantle and a well earned lunch at The Mill on Norfolk.
Yarns on Collie were the last in a line of LYS that received the brunt of furious shopping by the group who were last seen retreating to the safety of the Sail & Anchor for a cold drink and a quiet reflection on their day. Further expeditions of this type may be planned and yarn shop owners should be warned ahead that these frenzied purchasers of all things woolly are not to be stopped by mere dodgy price labels or the lack thereof!

Friday, 15 February 2008

Ravelry has me in its spell!

It appears I have a problem which I had all along but had never quite quantified. Knitting books are taking over my life along with yarn, needles, crochet hooks and other extraneous knitting (and crochet) paraphenalia. You only have to visit my workbook on Ravelry to see the evidence. It is, in some ways, sad. And yet, I am not concerned as I have always enjoyed knitting it has just gone a bit "full steam ahead" of late. If nothing else, I have identified some projects to finish and some that should never have started (and will never be seen other than by me, you fools!)

I'm gradually getting the hand of the web thing - not being quite of the blog generation it takes some time. Oskar thinks it's all a bit ho hum and wanted to assist me in photographing my soon to be finished 10 year old UFO - but you get that. He's the yarn cat and Lucy is the (straight) knitting needles cat - she can watch and pat the ends all day!
I will have to be careful now I have Ravelry access that the cats and computer don't totally eat my time though. I could end up being a knitter who only ever talks about knitting and never again knits - a common problem I think!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

In which HLR crows about her success posting pictures!

Well that worked! And I found the picture (with me in it) of the shawl that Jazzy took at Exomod. What do we think? No ruffles there.

Awaiting plane carrying husband back to Perth this Tuesday so knitting taking a back seat as I need to wrap anniversary pressie and smooth out house. Hiding frantic knitting efforts and some even more frenetic cleaning attempts not an issue now. Too late! But oven now cleaned and that one's been waiting for nearly 3months so we have a winner.

To close, another of my crafty attempts and one I designed and made myself (no ruffles but some fur). This bear thrives on red wine and chocolate (why am I not surprised). Rufus!

Monday, 28 January 2008

The start of something bloggy (rhymes with soggy!)

2008 - new year with new challenges. Number 1 identify and at least quantify number of UFOs contained in house - serious issue as this brings in bears, cross stitch, knitting, crochet and I think there's a tapestry or two around as well.

Number 2 accept that I have issues and stop hiding UFOs to pretend they don't exist. Let's face it, they've either got to be finished, restarted as something else or binned as failures (Type A personalities don't have failures though - problem here!)

Just for starters - blog name involves two cats to whom (they are furkids after all) I am allergic - why ever not be? I have a grass allergy as well - always good in a place where prevailing winds blow lots of grass pollen around. Oskar and Lucy (Lucy is the stripey one) are the fur part and the ruffles - apparently EVERYTHING I knit/crochet has them. I have yet to be convinced though so in the spirit of friendly rivalry (Monty Python ref) will go with this for the time being.

Am commencing UFO cull by trying to complete a top, the pattern for which was published in ANNA in 1998. Not allowed to cast on new socks until at least this one is finished. One and a half sleeves to go. Have however completed the Icarus shawl and am hoping to post a picture (not a very good one albeit) with this but as this is my very first attempt at blogging (NY res) so don't hold your breath.

Also set for completion in the next week or two - Rowan membership scarf/shawly thing and cashmere double-sided lace scarfy thing. Watch this space.......

Ciao f'now!