Monday, November 24, 2008

The first of the Christmas presents

I've been furiously knitting away on a number of Christmas gifts, justifying it to the Knit Widower in the name of thriftiness, but secretly to get in as much legit knitting as possible. The KW has tried to institute a new household rule. The only successful one we have ever had is a recent one - whoever finds the dirty nappy changes the dirty nappy. The proposed new rule - 50%. That's right, the KW is demanding that he get exactly the same amount of time spent on him as knitting. Hah! Am currently pioneering cuddling while knitting, which with dpns is a dangerous game.

Anyway, here are a couple of snaps of Christmas gifts hot off the needles. Recipients will only be named when there is no chance they may use the internet.

First up - Aunty Norma's Elm Row in Sundara Silky Fingering Merino Winter Skies. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

Knit concurrently with another Shetland Triangle. I love this pattern. I added an extra repeat, but after blocking it I think I really could have easily added another. Still I wanted the triangle to be small enough for a light summer shawl and then be able to bundled up to use as a scarf in winter. The triangle is another Sundara SFM, this time in crimson.

More Christmas presents to follow....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Guerillas in our midst

There has been a bit of a buzz in the media recently about guerilla gardening. Its a great idea. I'd mainly heard about it in relation to people using grass verges to grow veggies. However yesterday the grubby square at the end of our block got a more commercial guerilla garden make-over. Initially I thought it was local council finally returfing the area, but then I notice the uniformly good looking young people doing the digging and the presence of tv cameras. It turns out that Channel 10 has commissioned a guerilla gardening show. The producer was saying that they've done sites at Bankstown and Ashfield and Killara, and that the only one that had been vandalised, and revandalised after they had fixed it up, was the site at Killara. (For those overseas, Killara is an affluent suburb on the North Shore of the harbour. The other two suburbs are in western Sydney and are much more multicultural and working class.) Anyway, they did an excellent job, as you can see from the snap. They put up the bandstand structure, turfed the site and put in lots of other plants (which may be recycled by some less scrupulous locals as Christmas presents).

There has also been a little outbreak of guerilla knitting in Newtown too. I've walked past this pole for about two weeks now, meaning to take a photo of it. I found another one yesterday, but when I went looking for it today I couldnt find it. Who knew about these guerillas in our midst!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Knitting is not the only craft, and the renaming of the Squeeze

Knitting is not the only craft - well in our household this week anyway. I've been painting Mr Wriggly's room. It occured to me as I feverishly sugar-soaped walls, masking taped corners and slapped up paint during the young lad's naps that I should have done this before he was born. It would have taken a full day or two at the most. Instead it has spun out to almost a week.

Still, some of the delays were unforeseen. While sugar-soaping I discovered a bubble in the plaster. I brought it to the attention of the Squeeze, who before you could say 'Knit Widower' (which he is demanding to be called these days), had stuck his fingers through it and discovered a huge crack running from the inside of the room to the outside wall. This explained the mystery leak in the downstair's ceiling.

I left the Knit Widower to work his blokey magic and fix the crack he had so merrily excavated out the second story window. I came back later to find him hanging out the window with a trowel in one hand and using his other hand to stuff fistfuls of cement into the crack. "You may have knitting" he called down to me, " but I love cementing!"

It occured to me then that I had actually married McGuyver. I have seen the Knit Widower scamper up a makeshift ladder in a storm, lash himself to the chimney pot with a scaly bit of old rope he found abandonned in the back lane and calmly fix cracked roofing tiles. Then there is legendary time he and his mates were riding their motorbikes from Sydney to Philip Island for the Grand Prix and one broke down. He fixed the bike with some chewing gum and one leg off of a pair of pantyhose. What they were doing with a pair of pantyhose on that trip is more of a mystery to me than how he actually used it.

Anyway, painting a room for Mr Wriggly has allowed every member of the household to engage in some form of craft. Here is a quick snap of the finished product, and chance of me to flash my Babette once again.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I've just participated in my first ever swap! It was a 100 gram challenge, coordinated by Bumpy. Yesterday I received a lovely package from CelesteM containing a Beechwood Cowl and all sorts of lovely goodies.

I made a pair of Transition Gloves for Sonia, who said she loved all things pink. The exact colour of the contrast caused much debate in our house as to whether it was pink or purple. In the end we settled for fuschia. I've been wanting to make these for ages. The construction of the thumb was particularly satisfying and I love the way the ribbing branches out so neatly.

However, (and Sonia if you are reading this, cover your eyes. But then again, you probably have already realised this), somehow things happened so that the pattern on each glove is completely unique. Yup - despite following the same chart for both, they are fraternal rather than identical gloves. And as with those things fraternal, it turned out that one glove is mysteriously about one centimetre longer than the other. I had hoped blocking would shrink one and stretch the other. Lets put it down to sleep deprivation and not look at the finished product too closely.

On the home front, Squeak has been suspiciously well behaved. Perhaps it has been the arrival of a crochet blanket from Big Sister (aka The Crochet Queen). Despite the warm weather, this has been the place Squeak has been completely unwilling to leave. Except to fight the neighbourhood dogs, of course, and her nemesis, Greg, the big orange cat from next door.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Seasonally inappropriate gift

After using the excuse of a good friend's birthday to justify getting my hands on some Malabrigo in Ambrosia, I couldnt resist making another cowl. So, heading into a hot Australia summer, what better birthday present for a person born in November than a Zig Zag Cowl? And an Elk broach to make up for not being able to wear it for at least six months.