knitting and the life I almost have around it

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

workshop fun

Please excuse the less-than-thrilling post title - i've been self-medicating with pink champagne. To catch you all up on my tooth situation - i went to the dentist again last week, got nicely sedated and had my tooth investigated. Apparently i have two choices - $500 to have my tooth out (its the last molar in the row and i probably wont miss it), or have $2-3000 root canal. wooooh.

anyway . No more complaining. Most of the pain is gone and , apart from a wall-climbingly annoying case of what often happens when one takes anti-biotics, i'm feeling heaps better.

The sock workshop went brilliantly. Many lovely ladies attended and i was thrilled to infect so many newbies with the sock virus. here are a few snaps of the lovely group, carefully knitting away at their heels.
We skipped through most of the basic knitting-in-the-round stuff and jumped through to the heel stuff - i gave every one a teensy mini-skein of hand-dyed yarn and we just knit a heel! it worked really well and i'm confident that everyone left knowing they could deal with the teensy weensy needles and their respective patterns. it was a very enjoyable experience for me and (i hope) for everyone else.

My lovely housemate Vic (who is rapidly attaining sister status) is knitting her first pair of socks. I am SO proud. she went to cassidy's and bought several balls and lovely plain bottle green sock yarn but as it was for her first pair i made her take some self-striping patonyle. seriously, without the stripes i dont think anyone can be expected to get very far on their first pair.
She is suitably pleased with herself. She just got past the gusset decreases and 'only' has 18cm of plain foot to knit before the toe. We'll see about the second sock. There may need to be a brief sabatical between the socks. understandably.

Here is my monkey being scary.
Peace Out
Ms Spider

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

wish you were here?

Just a quick pic for those of you not coming to my sock workshop this morning... we're gonna have a ball! I'll let you know how it went this afternoon. For those of you who wont be getting a complementary mini-skein of happy spider hand-painted yarn i leave you with a pic of my daffodil!

Happy Sunday!
Ms Spider


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

since when do spiders have teeth anyway?

So, the dreaded visit to the dentist was today. and... it's bad. I dont know how this happened, i floss, i brush twice a day...
but somehow, the X-ray of my molars looks (very vaguely) like this. That black scribbley bit is decay. and yes, it looks like it might be into the nerve. which, yes, may mean root canal.
I am on anti-biotics and i have a nice long invoice which suggests that i may be very lucky that my parents are still helping with health-care stuff. I am cranky. I am sore. I am also kind of relieved. It's the first time in the last 10 years (apart from the leg-slicing incident) where a Dr has said "Wow, ok, yes there's something wrong" instead of "well... i don't know. It's nothing obvious. Are you sure you feel like death?".

I'm also kind of amused - my dr told me not to floss when i went to see him last week, and when i told my dentist that she nearly had cardiac arrest.

Let's distract ourselves with some knitting.

I am currently working on the key-hole top from interweave knits.
Yes this one:I'm about this far. Well, I'm exactly that far actually. that's the waist band, all the way up to the arm pits and part of the right back. I'm enjoying it but knitting cotton always hurts my hands a little. And let no-one think the irony of my knitting this when it's 5 degrees outside and knitting thrummed mittens in the middle of summer is lost on me. I am clearly a crazy person (but i have an excuse now, i have a tooth trying to make a break for it!).

Still working away at my sock stuff. It's all done, i'm just polishing the workbook thingy i'm writing for participants - so far we have three original sock patterns, some yarn reviews and information and basic information about heel-flap socks. I'm pretty happy with it... but i am also a perfectionist. So we shall see.

Back at uni and it sucks bollocks, i have five hours straight of socio-cultural politics in education every monday. Beware the cranky-pants, they'll be giving me a major wedgie by the end of that. erk.

Off to numb myself with 80's movies, nurofen plus and knitting.

the grumpy,
Ms Spider xo

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

these are a few of my favourite things

Not a lot to say today. Uni goes back tomorrow and i'm dreading it. My teeth still hurt. I'm still knitting. I'm still spinning.

Today i bring you several things i snapped today while doing my Happy Spider Sunday type stuff.
The result of spinning this:
One lucky eBayer's order of yarn, awaiting ball-bands and postage:
Some freshly skeined self-striping sock yarn waiting to be uploaded on eBay (Wizz Fizz and Pink Grapefruit):
And my daffodil-in-a-vase whichlooks ready to bloom, some knitting, a model of starbug and my little potted rose that i am nursing like a clucky baby-crazy person.
Happy Weekend
Ms Spider

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hornblower confusion

Whilst spinning and knitting and ignoring my teeth this week i have been working my way through the BBC series, Hornblower. If you are not familiar with this series, rent it, buy it, whatever - it's great. Trust Ms Spider, how often does she steer you wrong? You do not have to be into military stuff, because i am really really not. It's just... awesome. and you get to see his lovely bottom in episode 5, 'Mutiny' and that's worth it by itself.

However, everytime i watch episode 7, 'Loyalty', i think i see something odd.. and today with my Monkey's help, i have proof for my loyal readers.

The love interest for Captain Horatio Hornblower makes him some 'gloves' (which are in actual fact grey mittens, in about a 10ply, which feature quite heavily in episode 8, 'Duty') and bestows them to him just before he makes sail on the 'Hotspur' to check out Napoleon's (or 'Boney's' as her is refered to by most of the Brits) behaviour during 'peace time'. When she hands them to him, there is a lot of umming and aahing... and there is a teensy, brief, hardly noticeable shot...

where is it apparent that the mittens somehow have three thumbs.A good man is hard to find, but a good man with three thumbs? Good luck Mariah, good bloody luck.

Just thought i'd share :)

the amused and justified
Ms Spider xo


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

where it stops, no-one knows

Thanks to everyone who has been so nice to me about my teeth. The Dr said it was 'not his area' but did give me some sample painkillers. He suggested leaving it a bit longer and then going to the dentist. to 'save me money'? will it save me money if i have to get dentures? (when i do sleep i have dreams about crazy dentists yanking my teeth out with pliars, or them falling out and my trying to keep them in... weird stuff)
Being that i'm not into pain all that much, i called my dentist. The earliest i can get it next tuesday. Every day it gets a little less painful... but i have been one seriously pissy bitch to live with. Poor monkey. Nothing like chronic pain with no rest in sight to make one a tad cranky.

I also received in the mail today some documentation from the DET. Apparently, as i ticked a box on saying i was on medication i need a Drs Cert to say i can carry out the duties of a classroom teacher (you dont think an 8 week stint might have shown that? what does my doctor know about my 'knowledge, understanding and implementation of curriculum design'??? F-ing red tape). Also apparently i need to give them another copy of my birth certificate with a more illustrious signature (postal worker does not cut it, or so it would appear).

I told you i was pissy.

On the bright side:
Stage two of the Turtle Walk sock is complete. twitchy fingers may recognise this yarn. If you are hovering between booking into my sock class or not... please do. it's going to totally rock, i promise.

More spinning. Purdy.hand-dyed merino from rachel meekin, from Glenora spinning and weaving. Love this woman, some great colour sense and really saturated colours.

The sudden increase in yarn production has driven me to snap my sock-yarn/laceweight stash. I know this doesnt appear to be a lot, but keep in mind that sock yarn is fairly transient for me ;) I only just realised there is fibre present in this photo. i think that's green/blue dyed tussah silk... mmmm

And this is what i am spinning now.grey polwarth with 10% silk... yummeh! This is from waratah fibres again. I'm such a whore for a nice fibre... It's totally normal to talk to your fibre as you spin... right?

Ok, i'm going to try to sleep now. try being the operative word. freakin' teeth.

The pissy
Ms Spider

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

spinning therapy

Toothache is still throbbing away and i'm going to the doctors soon to see what he thinks. i know this probably sounds crazy - why not the dentist? But it's not a tooth, its top and bottom of my jaw and i've been running a fever. So perhaps i need antibiotics, who knows.

I have been distracting myself with my spoils from the fibre day. i did very well if i say so myself.
this is a skein of polwarth tops carded with 10% silk from waratah fibres. It's very nice to spin with, very pretty and luminous.This is a 3-ply yarn i spun using optim wool (dyed pale blue) hand-carded with silk throwsters waste in green and purple - i plyed two singles of this wool with a strand of deep purple laceweight strung with silver core clear beads (these are quite small so they may not be visible in the photo unless you are really looking for them). It's just lovely, i'm calling it 'Moonstone'. There's only about 70 metres but its so pretty and soft - it might be cuffs for something.
Here they are together.And here is what i'm getting on with - a little merino spinning, another cuff option for my turtle walk socks and possibly another pattern in the mix.

Peace out!
Ms Spider xo

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

sleep: the elusive wench

I'm sure i've mentioned this previously, but i suffer from insomnia. it was a lot worse in my early teens, but basically i have had trouble sleeping since birth (yes, this may be a factor in my mother's insanity. Never say i'm not fair).
I've pretty much learnt to cope with it - you either do or you lose your mind... although thinking about it, if i had lost my mind... would i know? This may also answer a few questions in regards to how quickly i sometimes finish projects. Knitting is my therapy and sometimes i really need it. Like, most times i'm breathing.

So, my Monkey (Sherpa just doesnt seem right anymore) is a somewhat vigorous sleeper. Now don't get ideas! I mean he talks, he laughs, he sings, he hums, he kicks, he shakes me awake and asks me a jibberish question then falls asleep again. he swings his arms around and i get woken about three nights a week by an elbow flying into my ribs. Strangley enough though, i have become a deeper sleeper since moving in. i guess it was just a matter of my body's needs overiding my overactive brain, but i dont tend to wake when a moth hits the wall anymore.

However. Last night i had toothache. Well, more of a gum-ache really.. you know that feeling when you eat steak and get an unfortunately big and painful piece stuck between your molars? and you cant floss for ages and when you finally get to the whole thing is inflamed and you (of course) end up cutting the gum between your teeth? Ok, i had that (and still do) top and bottom jaw on the right side of my mouth. When i was awoken by the tri-weekly slap at 2am i had to take painkillers... and i woke up exactly 4 1/2 hours later when they wore off. I lay awake waiting for Monkey's alarm (he's doing the morning shift) and then got up to take more. But i cant go back to sleep now.

Anyway. I am off to the fibre day at the bus depot markets today. I guess i'll walk up in an hour or so if it isnt raining too heavily. The painkillers have kicked in again but i'm feeling uninspired. Am trawling through various websites (such as you give me the knits) to get my proverbial juices flowing.

Last night i spun the last bag of fibre from the celebration of wool, so i am desperately in need of some more. This was some imported English Blue-Faced Leicester, and while its not as soft as some of the merino i've been spinning, it is very lusterous. It's a little more purple than it appears here. It's funny, but it seems the more dyeing i do, the more colours i feel comfortable with. I also seem more and more obsessed with other people's dyeing as well. i always just assumed that i would eventually be satisfied that whatever i wanted i could dye. But it's just so individual and i love seeing other people's work and spinning it. I tell Monkey it's market research... but i dont think i've ever even thought about trying to copy a dye-job i see. I just love being part of this hand-dye community and being able to support other people like me while feeding my addiction.

The Turtle Walk sock pattern is finished, but i think i might jigger it a little (totally a technical term). I'm going to write a second option for the cuff, allowing for leg shaping should the knitter desire a longer leg... and something else. I wont give any more away until i've made it work. And in response to the people who have asked if it will be available outside of the class, my answer is i dont know yet. I may offer it for sale as a pdf file from my blog for a few dollars, just to keep the wolves at bay.
I've really enjoyed knitting with my own sock yarn again! It's like painting with yarn... so lovely and it comes out so soft after you wash it. mmmm. i really oughtn't knit the second one until i've knit the second version... but they are so pretty! If you like this one, i have a very similar dye-lot up on eBay at the moment. (eew, now i feel dirty... a girl's got to eat you know!)

You know what, i think i may have rediscovered blogging. Or maybe it's just that i'm enjoying the sound of my own voice, as it were.

erk, its looking very rainy out there. I'm off to have a shower and then debate with myself : is it better to walk in the rain for 40 minutes or catch a cab and run the risk of being $5 short for the fibre i want?

Have an awesome day, hope to see some of you there. And if you're in the blogosphere, drop by and wish Othlon a very happy birthday!

Ciao for now
Ms Spider xo

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

rollin' with my homies

One ventured out into the cold this evening to Stitch n Bitch with Taph. It is cold today! The heaters in Starbucks are still on the blink and there's only so nimbly one can knit with fourteen and a half layers of clothing on.
We did have an excellent turn-out however.Having finished my lorna's laces socks, i have started on an original pattern that i am designing as a freebie for people who attend my heels and toes of socks workshop. Here is a sneak preview - I'm calling them 'Turtle Walk' as the lace pattern looks like turtle tracks in the sand. The yarn is my own hand-dyed sock yarn in Kelp Forest Variegated. It's an easier sock pattern than it appears, i can tell you :)

Here is how i spent the chilly day - spinning. After much discussion i am still at a loss as to what to name it. It looks tweedy but it isnt a tweed at all. It is very berry-esque but that's been done to death. I would call it damson wine but my rogue hoodie is in damson (rustic 12ply). Any thoughts fallen apon with cries of joy. It's 100g and about 300 metres, roughly equivilant to a 4ply, about 15 wpi. I know that most normal people are working at the moment and seeing the evidence of my vacationism must be frustrating... but i really did need a holiday, honest! and uni's back on the 16th so i'm enjoying it while i can :)

Well i have a lovely bottle of Petit Verdot open and i'm off to keep at this sock.

Peace out
Ms Spider xo

PS dont you all forget the creative fibre day this sunday at bus depot markets! YUM!

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

put on a happy face

Is there a happier vision in this world than a nice rack of drying hand-dyed yarn next to a freshly finished pair of socks?

I thought not.

Yes, that is a closet. OUr office is a reinvented bedroom and i left the hanging pole in the cupboard for convenient indoor drying. Quite handy really :)

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Just dropped off my objets d'arts for the exhibition and got home to an email notifying me of a new member of the blogging universe!
go visit tinkingbell and make her feel welcome :) She's all the way down in Tas with lovely knit-friendly cool weather and needs some encouragement. Welcome!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

no great surprise

Of course, it has previously been well established that i am, in a word, hopeless. It is not even remotely the same day i said i would put up pictures.
Well, no matter.

I have been busy.
I finished these:
I started these.It's Lorna's Laces in Bittersweet that has been marinating in my stash for over a year! It's the falling leaves sock pattern from a back issue of Creative Knitting (the Aus one)... well i jiggered it a little (a fair bit) but it's the same lace pattern. These are for me me me.
I have been spinning a fair bit also. after the bout of fine 2ply wool i pulled out my stash of silk handkerchiefs and caps... and here is the resulting yarn.From left to right - 37g/200m laceweight silk, 35g/300m laceweight silk, 25g 4ply (approx) silk, 75g/80m 12ply merino/optim/silk tweed (hand-carded).
It is so beautiful it would make you cry... and just to really get you tearing up, i'll have it up for sale at the Knit1Blog1 exhibit. I figured... it's a one off thing and it will leave me room in my fibre-stash for more silk and wool... i may cave in and hang on the them... but i want to sell them too.
Oh and the next fibre day is in a week and i am fairly broke which is most unfortunate... i'm dying to go wild again since i've nearly spun everything i bought last time. i guess i'm kind of rationalising spending more money by selling what i bought last time... sound logical?

Also, my sock workshop will be on the 22nd of July from 11.30-1.30pm and is called 'the Heels and Toes of Socks'. I am trying to have a sock at every relevant stage so i can show hands-on. Participants will also receive a workshop package including patterns, tips, where to buy sock yarn, sock yarn reviews and anything else i can think of. If you're considering coming along and theres something you think needs to be included let me know. I will also be providing my entire sock book library for previewing as well as numerous examples of socks of varying difficulty levels. There will also be HappySpider Sock yarn for sale during the class, but you're most welcome to bring you own :)

I think that's it for now (except that i'm filling out my temporary intern employment package thingy and its a pain... particularly as i cant get next semester's enrollment finalised.)
Hope to see you all on thursday at SnB, i feel like i havent been in a year and i MISS IT!

Ms Spider

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