Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Things I have learned from knitting socks

In no particular order:

Handknit socks are one of the little luxuries you should not have to do without.
Kids socks look really cute while you are knitting them.
It is amazing how many people know that you are knitting socks.
It is amazing how many total strangers will ask you to knit them a pair.
They all seem to take it quite well when you tell them no.
They never seem to take up the offer of knitting lessons.
I like square (or almost square) heel flaps.
I like my heel flaps to be about 6cm long.
I have huge galoomphing feet.
I like knitting socks toe up and toe down.
I think I go faster when using double pointed needles.
Much as I like the way the top looks when I pretend to Kitchener the knit stitches to the purl stitches it takes too long.
When you start with a provisional cast on, knit a few rows, and pull out the crochet chain you get a picot-y edge and the stitches don’t seem inclined to run wildly (yet)
I should never have tried to make a perfectly matched pair of socks (photo was going to be below but I wore them to gym and they are not particularly photogenic).
Due to the above I have discovered that I am, in fact, secretly obsessive compulsive and anal retentive, as I am now DETERMINED to make the next pair match as closely as possible.
One of the best reasons for splitting your 100g ball into two balls is to find any KNOTS.
Once you find knots make sure that the bits either side of the knots have the same pattern repeat.
I didn’t do this and the bit on one side of the sock had slightly longer stretches of colour than the other one.
This is why my socks did not match and I am now obsessing about getting the next pair to match.
I really need to get a life.

In other news, Jackie is on a mission to bankrupt the tooth fairy. She has lost 3 teeth in the last 2 weeks (2 on successive days) and seems to spend every spare moment wiggling the loose ones to encourage them to fall out.

I have been invited to a bridge club from next year. Haven't played in over a decade. Must find out what system they use so I can brush up.

New Years resolutions – must post more to the blog, must work on breaking the 70kg barrier.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I am still alive, just!

The total lack of blogging has been mainly due to an excess of life. I have been studying, things have been happening at work, and I have been trying to be good about going to gym. We've also been having a pile of electrical storms which make connecting to the internet dangerous.

I still haven't finished the thing Miriam tagged me for. Sorry about that. Will see about getting to it on the 20th once my assignment is in and life can get back to normal.

Feeling like a lump right now. Should have gone to gym but just didn't feel like it after an hour stuck in traffic in the pouring rain. It's also the brother's birthday today so we've had pizza and cake. GEE - all this and I STILL wonder why I weigh 75kg after a good few months of gym 4 to 5 times a week.

Talking about gym - what is it with people? I try my best to get to classes early so I can pick my spot. I am not short, I have long legs and arms, and I LIKE MY SPACE. Why is it that, when people arrive late, they seem to think that they can squeeze in right next to me? Last week somebody arrived late, set up about 20cm behind me, and proceeded to place her water bottle, towel, and cellphone about 10 cm away from my left foot. This is an AEROBICS class. We are going to MOVE AROUND. Can you say DUH! I told her that she'd better move her stuff as I WAS going to stand there.

Anyway - off to post this and try to get some work in on my assignment. I had a hectic social round this weekend - out on Friday and Saturday night and home early on Saturday and Sunday mornings. What can I say - that brother of mine might work on my nerves some (OK a LOT) of the time but it is nice to have a tame babysitter.

Before you all start staring in awe and amazement at my hectic social schedule, please remember that this is more times than I have been out in the last 6 months or so.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Here's our Page

Miriam was kind enough to get a copy of "our" page.

This is what everybody will be looking at for 31 days in 2007.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I am MS January

OK - you know all about the whole 15 minutes of fame that we are all entitled to? Well, mine is finally here. You may remember this post. If you go here and visit the page for January (sorry, couldn't figure out how to get a direct link) you can see our picture.

I'm the one wearing orange, Miriam is in jeans - please, if you are feeling kind, let her know that she looks GREAT, as she was hinting about photoshopping herself and silly stuff like that, and Dave (who, I think, is the only man in the calendar) is wearing the knitted hat.

Yes, I know I should update and post more and respond to the whole tagging thing from Miriam but right now I just had to share.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Good News, Bad News and GREAT NEWS

In Order :

I finished my Sock Wars sock and they are now on their way to my victim. Sorry for the bad photo but it was late and I was tired. They look MUCH better in person.

This was at the Post Office when my brother posted the parcel.

I am now officially out of Sock Wars. I am a bit sad but the socks are WONDERFUL, they fit BEAUTIFULLY, and the sweets are liquorice – the salty Dutch kind – I LOVE that stuff.

Now – the GREAT NEWS – I won a runner-up prize in the KNITTY calendar contest. All confidential about the pic right now, but I had to share with you. Miriam (whose husband did the photography) has already blogged about it. Now I just need to get them a high-res version, send them my snail mail, and they’ll send me STUFF! This is SO AMAZING – I don’t usually win competitions, and considering that life has been quite stressful lately, this is a welcome break.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Updates and pics and all that

Miriam tagged me in the hope that I’d blog more. I’ll answer all the questions on the weekend, right now I have other things to post about.

Here are my Pomatomus socks. 2.5mm needles, Trekking XXL - can’t remember the colour number but isn’t it GORGEOUS!

Here is another view with a selection of the other yarns I have that I’m thinking of making my next pair in.

Here, just for the sake of Gill, who is convinced that she is about to die, are my Sock War socks. I have been told by my assassin that my socks are in the mail, but that it should take 8 to 10 days for them to reach me. I think I should finish in time. However, as I HATE sewing in ends, I’m wondering if it would be VERY BAD sportsmanship of me to have EVERYTHING done but the sewing in of ends when I die and to send them off to my assassin with just that to do?

Also, for Gail, here’s the thingy I’m working on in the Natural Silk Aran – What can I SAY – it is INCREDIBLE! It feels wonderful (I wish I had more of it so I could pile it up in the middle of the floor, strip naked, and roll around in it – YES I should get out more, send Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg round to make me “interesting to men" and maybe I will) and is knitting up nicely too. Let me know what you think, OK?

Alright – off to eat dinner and knit more on the I-SOD (International Sock Of Doom)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Half Way There

First sock finished - toe all kitchenered together - just need to darn in the ends. Now to get busy with sock number two. No pic as I can't find the cable thingy for the camera.

Will hopefully have pics tomorrow.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sock Wars has begun

OK - got the info - got it late as I was away all last week and wanted to spend time with the kids today.

Will now knit myself stupid on socks.

To the commenter who asked about Pomatomus - I found them pretty easy. Other people I know have had more trouble. I reckon just go for it! If you have hasles and can't find somebody local to help drop me a line and I'll see what I can do.

Off to kill somebody with knitting!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Saved by a KNITTY episode

OK – I was planning on giving you a long and involved reason for why I haven’t posted in ages. I was going to let you know that I’ve finished my Pomatomus socks (they look lovely, thanks for asking, photo to follow shortly) and fucked up Icarus (made one of the side thingies into the middle thingy and didn’t notice – lace surgery to follow shortly). I was also going to include a brief history of my life the last few weeks, with the postgrad course, and the exam, and the assignment, and all the travelling for work (including the progressively weirder 5 hour night time drive from Springbok to Cape Town with a man I will NEVER (I will make sure of it) see again who decided to tell me all about his sexually dysfunctional relationship with his wife).

Then, I found THIS article.

My life will never be the same. I am using this method to knit two socks for Jackie, who is growing like a weed, and will hopefully fit into the ones I am making regardless of them being a teeny bit loose. As suggested I’m using different colours of wool but I can’t see why I really need to. I’m doing them toe up, starting with short row toes, and everything has gone swimmingly so far. I’m taking pictures and will share them with you all (oh 2 or 3 readers) so you can see that I’m not lying. Once this bit is done, on to another pair of Pomatomus socks - I have the PERFECT ball of red wool or something with cables – YEAH I LIKE CABLES.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Lots of Pictures

Hi Everybody
As Promised – more pictures and less bitching and moaning.

I did a bit of a tidy up in my room yesterday. I re-arranged the big plastic tubs of craft stuff so I’ll be able to find what I want WITHOUT basically dumping everything out on the floor and digging through the resulting pile. I did quite a good job as I now have 3 empty shelves in my cupboard that I can use for storing other stuff.

Here are the 3 big plastic tubs FULL of spinnable fibre. It would help if I had more than 5 minutes a week to spin, but it is so cold at the moment I could use it as insulation if I needed to.

Here are some cross stitch pictures that I just need to get cleaned up and framed.

This one, which is a birth announcement for my son, has been waiting for this since he turned 1, which is when I made it. You can do the maths and work out just HOW LONG this has been waiting. The alphabet is from a Burda book of Alphabets (I think) that I’ve had since I was a teenager.

The next two are from Teresa Wentzler. The first is a freebie called “Tempest in a Teacup”; the second is “The Castle”. They’ve been waiting about 2 years to get finished off.

The last one is from Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum. It’s called “The Quiltmaker”. This has also been sitting around for about 2 years too.

Now on to the quilts. I Have NO IDEA how long these have been sitting around, but seeing just how close I am to finishing so many of them inspires me to get working on them again.

This one I call “Big Sue”. I just need to finish quilting the border (yes, there IS only a little over half of it to go) and sew on the binding. The centre block is a super sized Sunbonnet Sue. The small squares in the border are all hand dyed (by me) and leftovers from the fabric I dyed for my Millennium Quilt swap (no, I never made THAT quilt either).

This was inspired by Ami Simms’ book “Invisible Appliqué”. In it she talks about using the method to piece curved blocks. I had some hand dyed fabric leftover from another quilt I never finished (Fair play it was supposed to be for a friend of the EX and he dumped me before I’d even sewn the thing together so I dumped the blocks) and I’d always wanted to do a tumbling blocks quilt so I designed a curvy version and, as they say in the classics, just went for it. This is also nearly finished. Once this is done I’ll probably make it into a bag or something as I need a nice knitting project bag (or 50).

This needs to be quilted. The blocks are hand pieced (also from leftover hand dyed fabric from the MQ swap), the assembly was done by machine, and I’m waiting for my Thimblelady book on “Hand Quilting Without Pain” to get started on this one.

These are blocks that I did on a sampler course. I only did the course because I wanted to do the “Advanced” course offered by the shop and they insisted you did the “Beginner” course first. Well, I was so unimpressed by the course and the rather Bolshy attitude of the teachers that I never went back. Now I look at them again I’m starting to like them all over so I’ll do something with them SOMEDAY. Hell, maybe I’ll put borders round them all, practice quilting, and make me a heap of throw pillows.

This is a top that I did from some other hand dyed leftovers from a hand dyeing course I did AGES ago. I started off doing asymmetrical log cabins but got bored so I cut them all into wonky squares and alternated them with squares of the hand dyes. I just need to slap a border on this puppy and quilt it.

This is a top that needs a new home as I’m never going to finish it. In 1998 my son’s aftercare teacher fell pregnant. I started this quilt for her. Then, I found out I was pregnant, so I changed plans, decided to buy her something, and allocated the quilt to my baby. Then I miscarried at 9 weeks. It wasn’t a good time for me as I hadn’t told lots of people so not many of them knew why I was the way I was and sometimes, you know, you just DON’T want to talk about things like that. Also, I had people say to me that I shouldn’t have found out so early as if I’d waited a month or two I’d never have known and things would have been fine. What can I say – I have Rh negative blood. I NEED to know these things as I need an injection of Anti-D or something like that to stop me building up antibodies which could jeopardise my health or the life of any future babies I might want to have.

Anyway – enough about the extreme insensitivity of people. I tried to make the quilt for the other baby but it just didn’t work. You can see from the CRAPPY border I put on that I was NOT doing well. I have offered it to a friend and if she wants it and will finish it, it will be hers to do with what she will.

OK – This was supposed to be posted this morning but Blogger wouldn't let me post pictures. Hope you like the pics. There will be knitting ones once I sort that bit of my stuff out.

Friday, August 04, 2006

WHY is it ?????

Why is it that people, who you have TOLD that you DO NOT take requests for knitted items (other than from your children) as it then becomes a JOB which you ALREADY HAVE and if it’s a JOB you should be paid the same as WORK pays you, still get that “WHY EVER NOT?” look on their faces when they ask you to make them something and you say “NO”?

Yes, I DID make something for Alegra when she had the baby, but I OFFERED to make it, she didn’t ASK, and it was a GIFT for use by the BABY.

Why is it that people, who would not come up and grab your jacket off your chair and try it on (at least they haven’t yet, maybe they do it secretly while I’m off getting coffee or in the loo), feel free to pick up knitted things from the desk (socks, gloves) and TRY THEM ON?

This is usually followed by “Won’t you make me one” followed by me saying “Yes, I won’t” while smiling in a friendly fashion. It’s AMAZING how long some people take to work out what I’ve said.

Why is it that people, who (once again I’m assuming here) wouldn’t walk up to a painter or a sculptor or a glass blower or a potter and start groping THEIR project feel free to come over and PAW knitting / sewing / spinning / other fiber or fabric type craft thingy and get offended when you pull it away (resisting the urge to poke them with something sharp and metallic) and ask them if their hands are clean?

They don’t seem to realise that the “Are your hands clean?” and the accompanying glare of death are warning signs of a crafter on the edge who is resisting the URGE to THUMP THEM for their AUDACITY.

Why is it that people seem to think that saying nice things about your work will make you magically forget that you didn’t give birth to them?

Yes, I know I do good work. Yes, I know I knit quickly. Yes, I know I make beautiful things. Yes, I know it would take you a whole lot longer to knit it for yourself than it would take me to knit if for you, but I DON’T CARE. I am more than willing to help you find yarn and a pattern and to talk you through the tricky bits. However, my “free” time is MINE and I do what I want in it.

Yes, it’s been one of those weeks at work. I will be better over the weekend when I see about tidying up my stash so I can try to fit a table into my bedroom for my sewing machine and cutting board and good things like that.

There will be photos and less ranting tomorrow, PROMISE!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

So much for "Sunny South Africa"

It is FREEZING! We apparently had snow while I was at work. It was all gone by the time I got home. Apparently it settled on the dog's backs a bit and they looked like somebody had sprinkled them with salt.

I wish I had pictures but, as mentioned above, I was at work and my brother, who was at home, didn't think of taking pictures.

This weather is SO WRONG! Rain and snow down here and heatwaves in the Northern Hemisphere. This is not how things are supposed to happen.

Anyway - I finished my first Pomatomus sock and will start the second one tonight while watching Smallville. I NEED to hone those sock knitting skills for the SOCK WARS!

Knitters - sharpen your needles

OK - I surrender - I am signing up for

You can find out more here .

In other news, I am almost finished my first Pomatomus sock, have still not finished the shawl for Miriam's baby, and have decided that whoever thought up "No Pain, No Gain" as an inspirational motto to get people to exercise needs their head read.

In an attempt to stay positive, let me just say, I am not sore, I am firming up.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I Finished Birch

OK - Birch is finished, it is GORGEOUS, it is also HOOGE (which, as you all know, is the same as huge, just bigger) and I haven't even blocked it yet. I am totally stunned that I could cover so much area with less than 75g of KSH. I'll post a picture once I darn in the ends and block it.

I'm also onto the leg of the first of my Pomatomus socks. Turned the heel last night so I could knit on an easy bit while waiting at the gym for the spinning class to start. Well, the leg pattern is MUCH easier to do without the printout. The foot is a bit of a pain as you have that extra little "triangle bit" but the leg just GOES.

Fine - all of you out there who are waiting for the follow up post starting "I stuffed up my socks" go think of something else RIGHT NOW - there will be NO tempting fate here.

Have a good weekend everybody. Pics will follow.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Hi All
As promised – here are some photos.

Me with my new haircut. Yes, I now have almost no hair and yes, I got it done at the barber shop when I took my son for a trim. I LOVE having my hair this short – seriously low maintenance. My PI shawl – just the edging needs to be done now. It’s for Miriam’s little girl. Hopefully I’ll get it done when she’s still of a size to use it.

Birch – not bad for a little over a week’s worth of knitting.

Birch close up – this bit is right at the bottom so if you see a mistake PLEASE just keep quiet.

My loot from the sale – all at 20% off. The pink and blue KSH will be used to knit up Christmas presents. The green is about 900m of 4 ply cotton. I know what I’m using the KSH for; just need a pattern (for ME) that I can use the cotton in. I’m thinking a nice summer tank top or something. Suggestions?
Jackie’s bag. Bag made from Knit Picks Wool of the Andes “Natural White”. Pattern made up as I went along. Felted / Fulled to make it a bit smaller and more durable. Buttons sewn on as directed by daughter to make a flower. OK – two posts in one day – I’m getting better. I’m off to visit one of the mines tomorrow and will only be in a fit state for blogging from Wednesday. Will try to post then.

Have a good week everybody.

A new Spin on Knitting in Public

Yesterday I went to my first ever spinning class - the exercise bike kind of spinning, not the wheel and wool kind. I've been to the beginner classes once or twice and decided that I needed to take a leap.

Being ME I got to the gym early and took some knitting with me just in case I had to wait for the studio to open. As luck would have it, the room was already open and once I'd got the bike all set up I realised that I could, indeed, fit in some knitting. I HATE to sit around doing nothing and as all I was doing was sitting on a bike and pedalling I needed something to fill in the time. The lady sitting next to me expressed some interest in what I was doing; I commented that maybe next time EVERYBODY would bring knitting to kill time before the class

My conclusions are:
1. Lace is not a good choice for knitting on a bike, even an exercise bike. Next time I'll take a sock. Even though I didn't knit during the actual class I think socks are much more portable.
2. I need to cut my hair and I need a bigger sweat towel. At least I'm not as bad as the woman two rows in front who left a little puddle of sweat on the floor under her bike Which, BTW, she didn't clean up! All together now YUK!!!!
3. I need to get out of my winter hibernation mode. Basically, I need legs that are shorts friendly as I nearly DIED of overheating even though I was in tracksuit pants and a T-shirt.
4. While not as fit as the maniacs in the front row I'm not as out of shape as I thought.

Other than that I got my hair cut, went to the pre-sale week at Arthur Bales (20% off all purchases over R150 - like THAT is a hard target to reach) and got some KSH and some cotton for SOMETHING.

Jackie, naturally, wanted SOMETHING too so we got her 10 pink buttons. I then knit her up a little bag which I felted last night. We'll sew the buttons on today and I'll post some pictures tonight. I made the pattern up as I went along and will probably do something similar for myself for a “carry along project” bag instead of the old shopping bag I currently use.

All in all, other than the flash thunderstorm that lasted JUST long enough to get us all a bit wet - it happened at exactly the same time as I was fetching Michael and Leslie from Magic - Saturday was a good day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I am a HORRIBLE Person

OK - I am a horrible person. I have still not sent Gina her birthday present, I have still not finished the baby shawl for Miriam, and I am currently neglecting just about everything I possibly can just so that I can knit on Birch. I think this is the most wonderful pattern I have ever knitted. The KSH knits up all soft and fluffy and it really feels like you are knitting with thin air, it's just so light. The whole casting on 299 stitches went just fine, I haven't made any mistakes that I couldn't fix on the next row, and as the number of stitches decreases it just seems to be going faster and faster. I am almost finished with my second ball of KSH, and feel very much that I am just about on the home stretch.

Another indication of what a monster I am - Gina was the one who helped me get hold of the pattern and we were going to have a knitalong. I was going to "just cast on" and wait for her to be ready.

No hate mail, PLEASE.

On the plus side I've been to gym twice this week.

Photos of knitted stuff will follow when I have the time. That is, when I've finished Birch.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I am still here

Yes - the title says it all. I am still here, busily knitting on the PI shawl for Miriam's baby girl who arrived earlier than expected. I'm doing the border now as I'm sick of the bloody thing. I've also got 2 more lace shawls in the works, my eye on "Three cornered and long shawls", a pile of socks to knit for the 6YO, and must REALLY get Gina's birthday present off in the post.

My tax form is also due on Friday.

I want a 48 hour day!

Friday, June 23, 2006

I Blame the Drugs

Yes, I was all morbid and depressed yesterday and I couldn't work out why. Then I went looking for a package insert for the heavy duty antibiotics I've been on for the last two weeks. The list of side effects are as long as my arm and feeling crap and down is in there SOMEWHERE.

I'm sure I'll start feeling better once the pneumonia and the medication to get rid of the pneumonia are BOTH out of my system.

The post that changed

Hi there. This was supposed to be a post about meeting Miriam for knitting and coffee and pancakes and the nice book I found in a second hand shop and Gerhard and his wool and the self help group and the socks and scarf I finished and how the socks went from "WOW thanks MOM" to "MOM I can't find one" in the space of a few moments. Thankfully the sock did not vanish into the black hole that is my lounge, it was under Michael's Magic file.

Then I went blog cruising and found THIS post at Crazy Aunt Purl's blog.

Boy that sent me off over the edge of the self-pity wagon. Doesn't help that the 29th of June, in addition to being Gina's birthday, is the 6th anniversary of my divorce. Doesn't help that I, maths geek that I am, does the sums and works out that I have now been divorced for 2/3 as long as I was married. Doesn't help that I KNOW that I am better off without him, happier without him, and much better than he deserved in the first place. I still remember getting dumped the day Jackie was due, because in all the years we'd been together I hadn't changed into the person HE wanted me to change into, going to pieces while he carried on with his life as if nothing had happened, finding out after he killed himself (November 2004 - just in time for Christmas - his timing was ALWAYS impeccable) just how little time it took him to replace me, and finding out that he'd probably been cheating on me all the time we were married, I was just too trusting and STUPID to notice.

Most of me is moving on. Hell, all of me was ready to go out and hit the dating game pretty much around the time he offed himself, which put paid to all that, at least till the kids move out of the house or the little one grows up enough to realise that not EVERY unattached male who walks through the door is her "New Daddy".

There's just a little bit of me that feels expendable and discarded and unwanted and that nobody ever wanted to be with me.

The rest of me will go buy it some wool and maybe a book or three and chocolate - LOTS OF CHOCOLATE.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I took my knitting to great heights today

After a suggestion by Miriam that we organise a suitable entry for the Knitty Calendar Contest I enlisted the services of Dave, assorted equipment and accessories, and took my (and Miriams) knitting to great heights. Assuming we get anywhere in the contest we'll point you to our picture. Otherwise we'll just wait until the closing date and post the pics.

Are you intrigued yet?

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Magic of Blocking

Today I blocked the shawl (Kiri) that I finished knitting yesterday. Here it is before blocking:

During blocking (the 6 year old has been added for scale):

And finally, after blocking:

Here's a close up of the shawl itself. I have to resist the urge to run into the street yelling "DAMN, I'm GOOD".
Blocking is quite stressful for me. This is only the second time I have done this and I live in fear of a stitch popping as I pull the lace to shape. Alternatively I worry about the whole thing crumpling back to its original size when I remove the pins. Also, I have to make sure that the blocking venue is secure as the blocking assistant

or cat thinks that my bed is actually her bed. You will notice that, in a sheer fit of knitterly brilliance, I acquired a cat who can shed on ANY colour and STILL have it show up. If anyone were to ask which fiber I include in ALL my projects I can honestly reply "Angel hair" as Angel is the cat's name.

Michael, 16YO son, learned to knit today. I tried to show him a few years ago without success. I think the planets were in the correct alignment tonight or something because I showed him how to knit and he just took to it. He knitted 3 whole rows by himself while I was in the bath. Even better - he noticed when he made mistakes and went back and fixed them. I am a VERY proud mom tonight. See - all this AND he knits too.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I have finished some things

OK - I'm following up on some of the comments and posting some FO pictures. Gina wanted to see my progress on the Spiral Petal Shawl. Well, I finished it and here it is. I just needs ends darned in and it might actually go to Jackie. It is pretty small (just covers my shoulders) and as it is done in acrylic (what can I say - I wanted a quick finish so I grabbed what I had) blocking won't do much good. I'm thinking of doing it again in SUPER Bulky but we will see.

I finished one of the Kiri shawls that I have on the needles. This will be blocked tomorrow (it's a public holiday) and posted off to the birthday girl on Saturday, assuming I can find a padded envelope that it will fit into.

I was also asked how such a little snake could eat a WHOLE mouse. Well, you feed it a really small mouse, called a pinky because they are so little they haven't got fur yet. Once Crystal gets a bit bigger she will be fed fuzzies, so called because they are a little bigger and have baby fuzz, not fur. When she gets bigger she will be fed larger mice and, depending on how big she gets (corn snakes grow to about 1.5 m in length) she might graduate to small rats.

My daughter, despite her current love affair with all things pink, is not the typical little girl. She takes after her mother that way. Posted by Picasa

I have Pneumonia

Meant to post pictures yesterday, didn't get round to it. Didn't post pictures today either, mainly because I didn't take any. I have an excuse. I have pneumonia. Went to see the doctor yesterday morning. My back has been hurting for a week or so. The pain is in that particular spot in the vicinity of the bra strap that makes it well nigh impossible for you to poke your thumb in to see what the problem is. I KNEW it wasn't due to the weight of my breasts but was a little worried that it might be due to excessive knitting. I'd been applying the traditional remedy of taking pain pills and ignoring it under the assumption that if it was a strain it would be better by then.

Doctor made me pee in a bottle. Turns out your kidneys are up there. WOW - that was a learning curve for me. I always thought they were a lot lower down, closer to the bladder. Anyway - kidneys were fine so I got sent for chest X-rays. I had a cold about 2 weeks ago and most of the congestion was in my left lung. This, surprise, surprise, is about where the pain was. Radiologist, doctor, and another doctor looked at the pics and agree that I have pneumonia. I am, apparently, not the first person to have pneumonia with no cough. I have different antibiotics, 3 days off work, and pain pills. I don't know if this would have happened anyway but I have felt progressively worse since seeing the doctor.

It has not hampered my knitting. I am almost finished a shawl, have convinced the 16YO son that he should learn to knit, and have completed "At Knit's End". However, after reading page 86 and sniggering a bit I went home and did EXACTLY that. I didn't notice that I'd done a Russian join to the end of the cast on NOT the start of the new ball until I started to make the next stitch and realised how little wool there was to work with. I blame the drugs.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I think I'm in love

I bought myself an omelette maker. A friend was raving about hers a while ago and I've been looking for one ever since. Yesterday I saw one and bought it. Jackie wanted a penguin waffle maker. Goodness knows WHY as she doesn't eat waffles. I insisted and took my new toy home.

This is the MOST AMAZING appliance I have ever owned. You just put it on to heat up, toss in some filling, cover it up with beaten eggs (I put them in a shaker and, well, shake), close the lid and wait. In a few minutes the lid starts to rise up (it reminds me of the Citroen a schoolmate's mom had - it had air suspension and did this whole WHOOSH thing as the system engaged) and before long you have an omelette a child.

I think I need more action in my life if I can get this excited over an appliance.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Yesterday was International KIP day

AND - we got together and knitted in public. As suggested by Gail we arrived at Gloria Jeans in Nelson Mandela Square (formerly Sandton Square) for knitting and goodies. Here's the picture I got the manager to take of us :

From left to right we are: Miriam, Carol, a waitress who wanted to be in the picture and was told to hold a sock and act like she was knitting, Gail, Ingrid and ME. Miriam and I (OK - just me) pointed out that, unless the other ladies were sporting hand knitted underwear or socks WE were the only participants wearing hand knitted items.

There is, however, a much better picture of us all (once we'd moved from the table to some couches) taken by Miriam's husband, Nico, at the Fiber Fever group home page. I look a lot less FAT in this one, so maybe that's why I like it more. HMMM - it would seem that husbands DO actually have some uses, after all. Maybe it's just that she hit the jackpot and got one of the good ones?

Gail suggested that we bring along any WIPs or UFO's of interest. I seem to have the biggest collection - 2 big shopping bags and a rucksack. I think I need to do a recon of what I have on the needles and see about finishing some things up.

I did, however, get Ingrid started on knitting socks. I think the poor woman is still in shock. In the space of an hour she learned how to knit a tension swatch in the round, do a provisional cast on, and how to do short rows. Eventually she claimed she had to rush off to feed her kittens but she DID promise to come visit me during lunch next week to get some more tips. At least this way she'll have some knitting skills to teach her mom the next time she visits.

Hope you all did some public knitting and had as much fun as we all did!

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Snake has eaten

Crystal version 2 is NOT overstressed. She ate her mouse quite happily, Jackie is delighted, and all is currently good with the Wagner reptile.

I have an international KIP day meeting with friends tomorrow at 10:30. I meet the creche teacher on Sunday for feedback on the girl child. Other than that my weekend is MINE (and the kids, of course). I plan on knitting.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Pictures for you

Hi Everybody
Just to keep everybody quiet, here's a picture of the wool I got on Saturday. The Opal was a gift from Miriam - Thanks Miriam - I'll get that on the needles ASAP.

Also, just so you know I do love my kitty, here's a pic of her snuggling up on my pillows, on my bed, under my covers. Doesn't she look adorable?

I was planning on posting these yesterday, but Blogger didn't agree. It's working again now so ENJOY!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

What I did on my weekend

WOW - I have had one BUSY weekend. Time to shop but not to sort out pics. They will follow tomorrow.

Saturday morning was a mad run around of the monthly shop.

Then I met Ingrid at Arthur Bales (she doesn't have a blog or I'd link to her) where we did some shopping. I already have FAR too much yarn but bought enough nice chunky stuff to make 2 quick knit sweaters. I've been knitting mostly socks lately so this seems to go so quickly. Ingrid also got yarn for two scarves, yarn for a nice chunky sweater (I need to help her out a bit as she, poor thing, has left all her knitting needles with her mom and needs a push to knit without a commercial pattern for the sweater). Then to Mama Tembo's for a snack. Daughter liked the kids play centre and trampoline. We bribed her with a visit to Ingrid's kittens to get her away.

Then home to meet Miriam who said such nice things about me on her blog. It was fun to play with her wheel for a bit and even more fun to see what a good time she was having with the spinning. The cat really appreciated being kept all snuggly warm by her rear end. I usually just pull the "It's MY house" card, and sit on her until she moves and I get a nice warm seat.

Sunday was more shopping, visited Jane for tea and scones, saw how happy she was to get one of her basset hounds back from the vet, a bit of a nap with the daughter (we were both a bit tired after all the running round on Saturday), started on the first chunky sweater - I need to track down 15mm circular needles for the other one - and did some mom stuff.

All in all a pretty good weekend. Just wish it was a bit longer.

Will post pics tomorrow.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

What I have been up to

First and foremost, a welcome to the newest member of the family. This is the first version of Jackie's pet snake. She got it a few weeks ago but I've just downloaded the pics from the camera. She now has a new version of Crystal. The first one visited the pet shop to see why it wasn't eating. Turns out Jackie had been playing with it too much and it was too stressed to eat. She now has a replacement and I assume that the original snake is now in a nice quiet cage taking lots of snakey Prozac.

Now on to the knitting. Here are the two pairs of socks that will have the ends darned in once I find my needle or purchase a replacement. The white one is from the Six Sox knitalong, the striped one I did as a practice run of a toe-up pattern I got from the sock pattern generator here. I wanted to use the same pattern for Pomatomus but was less concerned about ripping a plain stocking stitch sock if things didn't work out. This sock kept me sane on a particularly tedious course. I knitted the straight bits in the class, turned the heels while watching TV, and even did some knitting while at the movies. This is the fastest I have ever finished a pair of socks. All in all it must have taken me a little over a week.

Here's Pomatomus. I'm doing this one sock at a time as the pattern mentions the need to move stitches around and that's much easier to do on DPNs than one circular needle with two socks on it. This was the bluest yarn I could find in my stash, and I'm wondering if the striping doesn't detract too much from the pattern. Then again, it isn't THAT obvious and in a way I think it adds to the overall effect.

This is a little pink number that I'm making for Jackie (who had her first knitting lesson this evening) with the same basic principle as Glampyre's minisweater or boobholder. You might want to turn your sound down as this thing just SCREAMS "I'm 6, I love Barbie, I love pink, I love fluffy!" at the top of it's voice.

Finally, these are my Fisherman's socks from one of the MANY sock knitting groups I'm signed up for. Can't really remember which one right now but will post when I remember. This is my first use of cabling without a cable needle which I learned by looking here and here. It was a bit fiddly at first but it's getting easier all the time.

Hopefully that will satisfy Gina who moaned about the lack of photos in the comments.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I was going to post some pictures .....

BUT - it's almost 10:30 pm here and I really need to get some sleep before work tomorrow.

I was at my knitty group meeting and we kind of lost track of time. The place started switching the lights on and off and ostentatiously closing the doors so we got the hint.

We had 3 people there tonight - Miriam, Ingrid and me. Miriam and I knitted socks, I showed off my new skill - I've just learned to cable without a cable needle, and Ingrid sat there looking miserable and complaining about how much better our knitting looked than hers. As she didn't BRING any knitting with her we had no chance to do a real comparison so she might just have been moaning for no reason at all.

I MUST take photos as I have 2 almost completed pairs of socks to show off and two partial pairs. Will try to do that tomorrow. The almost completed socks just need ends darned in but my darning needles have gone AWOL. I have also managed to misplace a BRAND NEW 2.5mm circular needle. I'll go past the shops on the weekend and buy replacements. That is the best way to ensure that I'll find the first lot. I've also misplaced a tape measure, the only one I have that shows measurements in inches and centimetres. I'm hoping that it's hanging out with the assorted missing needles and will reappear along with them when they hear the siren call of their replacements. Am I the only person this happens to?

Miriam has just bought a wheel and will be visiting me on Saturday for a spinning session. Ingrid might come past for a sock knitting lesson, and maybe Jackie, who told me today that her friend's mom is STUPID as she doesn't know how to knit, will get back into the spinning thing and actually TRY her Pinkie wheel instead of using it as a little clothes horse.

Jackie does actually want me to teach her to knit so I'm going to try that tomorrow evening. She wanted to try tomorrow morning but I explained that I need to go to work.

I will post pictures tomorow, PROMISE!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Hi there everybody. Today is my birthday. As my brother KINDLY pointed out to me this morning I am now 6 times older than my daughter.

I have also been reminded that I forgot to tell the world that my son turned 16 on 13 March. If I did remember then it's obviously senility setting in.

On the plus side I finished this :

Which looks like this close up :

This is a patternless baby blanket inspired by the Yarn Harlot's blankies for the Tinks. Unlike our beloved Stephanie, I do not labour under the belief that a baby will wait for it's knitting so this is finished well in advance of the due date. Not as well in advance as I first thought as I had to rip out the entire border as I didn't pick up enough stitches, but well in advance enough.

It was a nice, brainless, knit. I did the garter stitch middle until it was getting on my nerves and knitted the border until I was close to running out of yarn and SERIOUSLY starting to hate the whole thing. I'm just waiting to hear if either of the parents are allergis to cats. If they are I need to give this a GOOD wash before it goes to it's new home.

I'm going to ask for a pic of the baby in the blanket. If I do get one I'll post it here for your viewing pleasure.

Have a good day people. I'm off to eat black forest dessert. Everything has zero calories when it's your birthday - right?

Monday, May 01, 2006

OK I'm back Again

OK – I’m back (Again). Just as I decided that the time was right to share some more of my life with you, TELKOM decided to get in the way and – you guessed it – my phone stopped working. This was Wednesday morning and they finally got round to it yesterday. The cable was wet.

So – on to the things I wanted to tell you about sooner.

I got this in the mail :

The patterns are GORGEOUS, I’m still busy with the first Yarn Harlot book, and I’m trying to work out how to morph the space-time continuum to get to knit EVERYTHING I want and still read these books cover to cover.

I made some progress on my sixth sense socks :

And a little bit of progress on my jaywalkers :

I also got round to taking a picture of one of the Kiri shawls I have on the needles. It’s as big as the seat on a dining room chair but should be pretty enormous once it’s blocked.

I also finished a baby blanket but I'll darn all the ends in first before I take a picture. If only my house had tidied itself up while I was doing all this knitting things would be marvellous. AH WELL - If knitters ruled the universe this sort of thing would happen all the time.

OK – all for today. Will post more tomorrow.