Thursday, January 31, 2008

Evie, you sweet sweet thing

When I started knitting again as an adult I vowed never to do big projects. Only socks, and the occasional baby item for extra good friends. The last time I knitted a cardigan was in 1988 and it was a Jenny Kee designed commemorative bicentennial cardigan. While I havent been able to find a picture of the actual cardi, heres a little taster of some of Jenny's other 1980 designs. You'll be able to imagine it from there.

Making it actually taught me a thing or two about reading patterns and doing colourwork. I'd made about half the back before realising the design looked funny. After some more indepth thinking I realised that was because I was reading the pattern from left to right and had produced a perfect mirror image of the design. Hmmm. I think that Mum actually finished it for me. In the same year I went to Finland as an exchange student and took a side trip to Leningrad, as St Petersburgh was known at the time. (Yup am feeling old.) I ended up trading Jenny Key's vivid interpretation of bicentennial joy for a black fur Russian hat, which I still have.

So since 1988, no cardigan has ever been on my needles. Its taken me 20 years to move on from Jenny. But then I saw Evie. In all respects bar the centre front opening, Evie is the anti-Jenny. One colour, non-pastel, elegant fitted design rather than a boxy high neck square. It was love, I had to make her.

Progress on the vast (in comparison to a sock anyway) swathe of stocking stitch for the back of Evie was helped along no end by my newly acquired ability to knit and purl without looking, and the entire fourth season of The Wire. (If you havent seen this show, which is highly likely because Channel 9 buried it on a midnight slot, do yourself a huge favour and check it out.) Heres the waist detail on the back.

I'm now about half way through the left front, helped along by the first season of Heroes. The front requires a little more attention as the reverse stocking stitch ridging is carried on up the entire front of the piece. I cant claim to be a big fan of Heroes, but it is a very pleasant background to knit against. Heres the detail of the left front.

In summary, Evie is a joy because it has just enough detail to be interesting to knit without being arduous. I think the ghost of Jenny has been successfully banished.

Fight Club

Poor Squeak. In defending her title of Baddest Cat on the Street, she went into a neighbour's backyard and took on their Jack Russell terrier. While the dog is smaller than her, its heavier, isnt walked and is chock full of energy. You'd have thought she would have learnt from her initial bout with him in December, which lead to an expensive vet visit. This time she came away with less injuries, although she had a puncture on her fighting paw. So, what's girl to do when her arse has been kicked? Curl up in the Washing Basket of Healing.

Years ago, when taking her to the vet for similar fighting injuries, he told me that the gene for the ginger colour is located on the Y chromosome, and ginger females were genetically sexually ambiguous and very rare. The he said 'Is she neurotic and territorial?' It was like he knew her! This is a cat who like to sit by our front gate and look demure until a dog comes past and she swats it on the nose through the safety of the wrought iron fence!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Culinary gems from the 1970s

Inspired by Rose Red's posting Fifties Flashback, I thought I'd share a gem handed down from my mother in law. Does anyone know what these are called?

It formed the centre piece for a friend's Don's Party Party on November 22 2007. The kidlets at the party thought the green pickled onions where lollies. You can imagine the looks on their faces after popping an onion in their mouths....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Art in the back lane

Since the Squeeze and I moved into our house about ten years, the back lane has provided a measure of the social dynamics of our suburb. The row of terraces, one of which is our home, was built in the 1870s, which makes our place pretty old by white Australian standards. The back lane, which my grandmother would call a 'night soil lane' provided access for the dunny men to come and empty the raw sewerage out of the tanks which sat below the outside toilets. We still have our outside lav, but its plumbed into the sewer line.

When we moved here the back lane still retained some of its original night soil functions. Local dog owners would let their dogs shit in the back lane, junkies would come and shoot up there and often do the same. You had to wear shoes at all time for fear of poo and needle-stick injuries.

Over the years though, the suburb has gentrified. Now you are more likely to find someone trying to park their convertible BMW there amidst the dumped 1970s style kitchen cabinets, discarded by people renovating their kitchens.

Recently New View Gallery arranged a street art project for our back lane, which has reincarnated it all over again.

I couldnt resist using it as a backdrop for some snaps of my latest knitting project. Its Evie, another Kim Hargreaves design. Here she is up against our back gate.

And here is a shot of the waist detail. Its a combination of purl and reverse stocking stitch. Could that be Horus lurking in the background?

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I've been visiting the local button shop, All Buttons Great and Small. Heres some of my loot.

Ponies, disco glitter stars and tiny shell buttons.

More ponies, faintly menacing kittens, cherries, lucky 3s and rockets to the moon!