knitting and the life I almost have around it

Sunday, August 31, 2008

it's like rain

Some friends of ours are getting hitched today, which is kind of exciting. We haven't seen them in forever and i think this is going to be the first wedding I've been to where someone my own age is getting hitched.
Unfortunately, my energy levels are still in the crapper, so instead of being thrilled that I'm going to see them and that the day they've waited for is finally here... I'm sitting here like an angry little toad thinking "I have nothing to wear" and "there goes my Sunday". And I have SO MUCH marking to do and I'll get through about 4 books and then my brain freezes.
I washed up this morning... and then I had to have a nap! Honestly, it's embarrassing.

Anyway, what can I tell you about this week?
One of my students 'finished' (with help) her first project - a jumper of 'her' own design. I am so proud of her :) ! I made the front piece with the intarsia (I'm not that cruel) and i still have to sew on the duplicate stitch smiley face. (Yes, she is TINY).
I am reminded that when I was ten I wrote a list of things I wanted to do before I died and knitting a jumper/sweater was one of those things.

I also have a student who is nicking off for 2 years and is in my SOSE class. This chap has been wistfully mentioning how awesome a beanie that looks like a helmet would be... and I am obviously a total sucker (Hey, at least it's a going away gift, not a 'hi I am your servant' type thing). This is the Dwarven Battle Bonnet by Sally Pointer, first hair option. It's pretty close to being finished, but before the wedding I need the gentle therapy of lace.

This is lace shrug I am knitting for Taph. The pattern is... (desperate scrabble with desk) Diamond Lace Shrug by Gitta Schrade from Yarn Magazine Issue 3. I am using 2ply Cashmere Cave cashmere in black. It is lovely yarn, and I am enjoying making this but it's slow going because the increases aren't charted, so I do have to concentrate. I usually find lace with a complex chart relatively mindless because it's just a case of 'move the post-it' most of the time. It's not a massive pain but it is irritating.

My Sayuri continues to grow but is not yet worth a new photo.

Also, i should point out that a change is as good as a holiday (Excuse lack of make-up and general dagginess). Monkey approves. (For those who are now staring trying to work out what has changed, I died my hair Dark Copper Golden Blond. Really needed a change. Apparently red hair makes blue eyes very blue and scary. BOO!)

Still spinning the laceweight merino/silk. nearly halfway.

Also, I took my camera with me on the way to work because EVERY morning I see something that makes me giggle like a loon and I needed to share. Apologies to anyone I offend... I didn't do anything to stage this, it just grew this way (and if you don't know why I am giggling then you are a far far better person than I)Lawn Fail.

Ok, better go wrestle with the clothes I am slightly too curvy for now... sigh.

Peace out,
Ms Spider xo

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Well, it really was no contest. The new wheel is henceforth to be known as Crispin. Thanks Twitchy Fingers! Keep an eye out for the postie.
nothing to add to this post except a sock. Knit the last round of the cuff on the bus and cast off when I got to work (you can't tell me you wouldn't have done the same... it was minutes away from being finished!). I did mod it a bit, but it's bed-time so I'll explain later. Still not sold on the afterthought/forethought heel.

the school knitting group raffle gets drawn tomorrow... and so I feel the need to cleanse my soul. The raffle was my idea and I made a lot of stuff for it... but i think my idea was driven more by a desire to cover the kids i treasure with knitwear than earn us any money. Is that a little sad or what? Forget my mother, I'm turning into my grandmother. I'll know the transition is complete when I can't go into class without a few trays of biscuits and loud complaints that they are all "so skeeeny darlink".

Ms Spider xo

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Monday, August 25, 2008


What marking? Come and watch tv with me. These socks won't knit themselves.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

pardon the sound track

Just sat down to blog and had a total brain-fart... have no clue what I last said. Excuse me for a moment while I re-read my own drivel...

*insert elevator music type rendition of the girl from ipanema*

Ah-ha! You'd think I'd remember something crucial like finding out why I'm sick all the time but apparently amnesia is one of my symptoms. ba-boom-ch

So, I've had a week of D3 and Iron supplements and one of my B12 shots. I'm probably feeling heaps better but have wicked PMS at the moment so I can't actually be objective about that. Also we are going to avoid talking about that stuff because I might get cranky and say something I will regret later.
So instead of the pity party, I'm going to show you some knitting ("really? Knitting? on a knitting blog?") I know, I know. It's not like I ever stop.. it just becomes sort of subconscious when it's my main coping strategy and i forget to show it off. But seriously, it's a bad sign when you're consistently boring even yourself.

*elevator music again while i look at ravelry and try to remember what I've been knitting*

Ok, so a little while ago I started Sayuri from Sensual Knits (Rav link, pardonez-moi). I am using Naturally Yarns Merino et Soie 8 ply (Rav again, sorry) in colour... 212, which is a really sensational deep blue with paler silk running through it. Smooth, lush and silky (dur). After a marathon effort this week I managed to finish the top half and sleeves and am now knitting the body. This is a nifty pattern in that you cast on the back at just below bust height (no, not that you have boob-olahs on your back but you know what I mean), increase a bit and then cast on a gazillion or so stitches on either side for the sleeves. You knit until the sleeves are a gazillion inches long and then cast off the middle bits for the back of the neck. You see where we are going? You then knit each front piece including conjoined sleeve seperately and increase to create a deep v neck. Then you join the pieces again and do a nifty bit of linen stitch at the waist and continue down with shaping. There may be some mention of an I-cord type attachment around neckline, but I'll hyperventilate over that when I come to it.
Of course, once the top bit is done it seems ingenious. While you're knitting those gazillion stitches for a gazillion inches it seems bloody stupid.
Happy with the results though :) gorgeous drape on the sleeves.

I finished Monkey's birthday socks today. His birthday is Sept 19th (talk like a pirate day, appropriately) but I'm not laying any bets that I'll hold out til then. He really does have the puppy-dog eyes down pat. (And apparently the socks are haunted... nice aura!)
Oh, yeah, it's Opal Rainforest 6-ply in the Owl colourway. And it is MANLY. Not pretty. Thank you.

I also had a mental blip and forgot my bias against toe-up socks, and am now knitting these from 101 designer one-skein-wonders (seriously cute book if you find yourself doing a lot of gift knits). The pic on rav is useless because it doesnt show the best bit - frilly cuff! (apparently I am seven at heart). Mock at will, it has been done already and I am (relatively) immune. Perhaps those in Jazz Santa Suits should not throw stones? ;)

Also, the bunnies have been immensely good company in my time of need (except they keep hijacking me for my biscotti! fiends!). I shall leave you with a suitably nauseating tableau. (He who shall cast the first stone something something... we're all gross with our pets, right?)(We like to rub noses... do I need to explain that?)(Oh, and excuse standard 'i am at home' uniform, I had just woken up from a nap on the couch... and that's biscotti he is taking out of my mouth, not sputem or anything, ok? Monkey says it's almost a very romantic sequence except Monty is a rabbit)(and just because Winnie was feeling a bit left out, isn't she lovely? Though she is not a fan of the paparazzi)

Tomorrow is TOM so I need my not-so-fugly sleep. I''ll be the one in the all-cheering section knitting frilly socks!

Peace out
Ms Spider xo

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Friday, August 15, 2008


So this afternoon I went to my Doctor to discuss the results of my blood test. Normal liver, good kidney function, normal thyroid... and yet. Apparently I fail at vitamin absorbtion. Big time.
My Iron levels were half what they should be, my B12 was at a 5th of what it should be and D barely registered at all. Dr was very composed but her micro-expression gave away a good deal, and now i get to have weekly injections of B12 until she's no longer concerned. It was the the most calm and composed internal "holy shite!" I have ever witnessed.

I'm in two minds about all of this.
Mind 1 says: Awesome! Just what you wanted! Something really simple and obvious and easy to fix. It explains the trouble sleeping, the difficulty concentrating, the lethargy, the headaches, the queasiness, the depression, confusion, dizziness. Dr says within three months of high dose supplements I should be a new woman.
Mind 2 says: ... I have been having all the above problems since I was seven. It's gone up and down but these have been my demons. So, how is it that my old doctor never even suggested any of these things? Have I been feeling like crap on a daily basis since I was a small child because my doctor overlooked a few things like vitamin levels? Am I on a reasonable dosage of happy pills that I don't need? Or, is this a mirage and while I'll feel better... it won't be the end of it.
Monkey's mind says: Awesome! This is the best news ever! Also, can we sue your old doctor for a million billion dollars and buy a castle to live in?

I'll get back to this whole thought process when I stop coughing my lungs up (did i mention I have laryngitis again? Yup. I'm just so much fun the people around me can't help dancing)

Current bus project: sock-it-to-me scarf from 101 designer one-skein-wonders in handspun silk/merino (fibre from EGMTK in Alchemy). It is now about four times this length but... well see above, including lethargy, roll your eyes and move on.

Peace out
Ms Spi-er (because I'm all out of D :s)

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

progress ain't always linear

Why hello! Thanks for stopping by.
There has been movement (besides the whole down-hill slide thing). Monkey has his sights set on a new job. I won't jinx it but it's truly perfect for his geekiness.
I went another whole week without killing or maiming anyone.
My grandmother turned 80. She's so gorgeous.
I bought a spinning wheel from Mandie (She my Ashford pimp, yo).
It's not as frivolous as it sounds. It had been the plan for quite a while. My little traveller, Charlotte (which came to me via the inimitable Taph), was a TAFE cast-off, and while perfectly functional she is a little rickety. There are odd screws that untwist and... well. She's had a good run and she's not going to miss out on use. But...
Thing is, I missed Horace. I loved my traditional, I really did. The classic shape, the size of the wheel. The overall sturdiness that doesn't make me worry when I get a good speed going that I might knock it over.
So when my tax return came through this year i did my research. I knew I wanted a traditional but I wanted a little more versatility. So I invested in a Lace flyer unit and a Jumbo flyer unit as well. And I can yet again direct you with confidence to Mandie should you have questions about any of the ashford range - the lady is a champ.
Yesterday I assembled the new wheel. I probably should have sanded and oiled it then and there but the temptation was too great to give her a spin so I whipped up one of my squirrel EGMTK fibre club packages. Retro-Specto merino/soy 120g, roughly aran 2-ply, 210 metres.
This baby runs like a DREAM. *drool*

This morning I sanded and oiled and assembled the two separate flyer units. Then we went to my grandmother birthday lunch and got kissed and made small talk and tried to ignore the fact that my cousins seem to think 'mid winter sunday lunch with gran' is a good event to wear a mini-skirt to. blech. teenage girls. *

This afternoon I attached the lace flyer and started on the latest offering from EGMTK fibre club - merino/silk Octopus' Garden' (click the pic to truly appreciate the insanity).Now I've spun lace before with the traveller and though it was a challenge, i managed it and was happy with the results.
I had no clue!

See you in the spring?

And apparently I need to mention kniteratti, my school knitting group. It rocks! We are so hard-core, we even share needles! Although the needles supply is seriously depleted so I am running a raffle to raise some funds. Here are a few things I've whipped up for the raffle in the last week.
Devil hat from Stitch n Bitch using panda Woolbale. A short-circuit scarf (that i did finish but forgot to photo off the needles) using 3 balls of Jet. Mohawk Hat from Domiknitrix, using Merino Spun and Katia Aspen (Monkey not included).

Now I seem to be working on another throat infection, which makes me very cranky-pants. It kind of relentless sometimes. Some days I get home, think about all the different ways in which I feel crappy and marvel that I yelled at no-one all day. Hope the little buggers appreciate it.

Ok, I shall sign off. But I should like suggestions for a name for my new wheel. Please? It doesnt feel right til I name her and I'm totally stumped.

Peace out
Ms Spider xo

* You may realise at this point that I spend a good chunk of my time teaching teenage girls and I do like them mostly. I just don't understand some of their behaviours and really didnt need to see my cousins vpl today.

ETA - apparently I suck at Ctrl+C or something. Mandie is now linked properly... sorry for the faux pas!

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