Archive for March, 2010


A Great Read

31 March 2010

Just delivered from the Book Depository, this really great book. 

 Knitwear Design Workshop

It covers every aspect of design from different sleeve shapes to all-in-one constructions.  The maths are explained all the way through, there are loads of great hints and tips, it’s 344 pages (ring-bound) and I think it’s going to get a lot of use. 

A great read!


Sydney Easter Show Preview Night

30 March 2010

Great knitting . . . not so great knitting.  Items I’d like to sneak home with me . . . items my nearly 90 year old mother would deem to be too old-fashioned. 

The Easter Show had it all (including the usual really poorly displayed pieces that would have had me in tears if they’d been mine).

The winner of the night was a stunning shawl which won the “Best of Show” plus awards for the Best of Best (can’t remember what it was called) – 6 awards in all.  It was truly gorgeous, and they couldn’t even hang that properly – it was wrapped around a pole (maybe they thought it was a graffiti art entry).

The best thing for me was that I know how young some of these knitters are.  These aren’t dear old ladies producing exquisite lace – some of them are under 25.  I was able to point this out to one woman who commented on how this was a dying art.  She was VERY impressed when I told her the ages of so many of these entrants.   

I’m really looking forward to going back there next week to do the commentary for the Sticks and String podcast.  Do listen in.


I Promise Myself – Part 2

29 March 2010

I promised myself (via you all) that I’d finish everything on my needles before I cast on something new.  Well, I’ve stuck to the last part – I haven’t cast on anything.  But I’m having trouble with the first. 

I’m not sure what’s wrong with me lately – everything I knit has to be re-done . . . or maybe I’m just getting more particular. 

One Baby Surprise Jacket finished and with its new owner.  Another BSJ needs to be sewn up.  Purple linen jacket needs about another 3 hours – sew in second sleeve, sew in ends etc.  I crocheted the edgings and I think it looks good but note to self – NEVER crochet with Rowan Linen.  It splits dreadfully and it seems more pronounced when crocheting than knitting.  Winter jumper untouched ( only needs a collar but who needs a winter jumper when the temperature is still hovering between 25 and 30C?).

No knitting tonight – out with friends from England.  No knitting tomorrow night – Easter Show Preview night.  And then it’s the 31st.  So I’ve failed! 

But I won’t give up (or in).  I’ve Wednesday night and Thursday night, which should be enough.  Then I can look forward to Easter and something NEW to knit (and 800g of 4 ply 100% silk arrived in my post box today!). 

And the good news is that I may have sold the pattern for the “secret project” I posted about a couple of weeks ago – the orange cable and garter stitch ‘thing’.     

All pictures will be posted over Easter.

ETA:    It’s 800 METRES of silk (220g) not 800g.


New Words Required

28 March 2010

I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon.  If I’d gone there 10 years or so ago, I would probably have looked out over this wonder of the universe and said “This is awesome”.  Can’t say that any more.  ‘Awesome’ now describes a good cup of coffee, a film or a new pair of shoes.  Awe no longer seems to enter into it.

And where did we get all these ‘stars’ from?   An actor who has appeared in three episodes of a soap opera is now apparently a star – give him a whole series and he’s a superstar.  No – make a great film every year for 10 years and win 3 Oscars – then I’ll call you a star.

Captain the winning side at cricket or football and you’re a hero.  Win an Olympic gold medal and you’re a hero.  Win more than one gold medal and you’re a super-hero.  How are we supposed to describe someone who risks her life to rescue a child from the sea, or to get someone out of a burning building? 

May we have some new words, please?



Wave Goodbye To The Clowns

27 March 2010

Initial reports suggest that the circus is leaving town!  Did they choose to go or were they pushed?  Who knows . . . who cares?

But the administrators have been called in.


In Need Of Better P.R.

26 March 2010

A few months ago, I told the story of my sister who bought some yarn with far too many knots.  She complained, the company replaced it.  She’s one happy customer.  She’d recommend the company.

I recently bought some yarn from a wonderful hand-dyer (who I often rave about here) but the yarn wasn’t of her usual extremely high quality.  The dyer sent me without hesitation a new skein.  I’m one happy customer.  I’d recommend this dyer.

A friend of mine bought some yarn from what I thought to be a wonderful hand-dyer.   It was poorly dyed,  My friend has spent A LOT of money with this company over the last few months but that seems to hold no sway with them.  They refuse to acknowledge that it’s faulty and instead of just sending her a replacement, they insist that they swap it and if by post, at my friend’s expense.

What’s wrong with these people?  If my friend were mad and this dying job is perfect (she’s not . . . and it isn’t), I’d still recommend that they just send her another skein.  One happy customer, who’d carry on spending large amounts of dosh and recommending the company to the knitters of Australia. 

As it stands now, they’ve lost one customer and maybe more will follow. 

Ethically suspect;  financially stupid.




Round Up

25 March 2010

1.     Don’t forget Authorised Knitting at the Stitches and Craft Show, Saturday and Sunday 17th/18th April from 10.00am.  Australian Technology Park, Redfern.

2.     And don’t forget to put in your diaries World Wide Knit in Public on Saturday 12th June.  Details to be announced soon but we’ve wonderful prizes (including a great basket of goodies again from Mosman Needlecraft).  .

3.    And, finally, don’t forget to leave a comment.  Everyone’s name goes into a draw next Thursday and there are two prizes – one for an Australian resident and one for an overseas reader.  And I have only 7 people in the overseas draw at the moment so your chances are pretty good.  Just leave a comment, if only to say ‘hello’.

I’ll be back tomorrow.



My Husband . . . The Novelist

24 March 2010

My husband, David, may hit my arm (quite hard) during the night as he’s trying to fight off burglars in his dreams, he may sometimes quite often put his foot straight into his mouth.  But I must tell you that he’s exceptionally talented, witty, intelligent and just all round good fun (and no prompting from him to say that – promise).

Don’t forget that this is the wonderful man who got world-wide accolades for the WWKIP logo last year (and is currently working on this year’s).

AND he wrote a book (Dark Siren), which I told you about last year.  You can read about it here. 

A few weeks ago, he submitted the manuscript to Amazon for their Breakthrough Novel Award.  They took 10,000 unpublished novels in two categories (5000 each), General Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction.  The first ‘culling’ left him in the final 1000 in his category (ie 80% of the entries were knocked out), which I thought was pretty impressive.

BUT today we hear that he’s made it into the final 250!!

He’s quite a man, my husband. 

ETA:  The Amazon judges’ reviews of the synopsis and specimen chapters are now online.  Read them here.  (Scroll down page)


Cancel the Policy – He Sneezed

23 March 2010

One of my good friends, Kris, is American.  She’s also lived in the UK and now lives in Sydney.  It’s interesting to read her take on the US health reforms here.   

Hayfever classed as a “pre-existing condition”?  It would be funny if it weren’t so damaging to people’s health and well-being.


Which Passeth All Understanding

22 March 2010

There are a number of things I don’t really understand. 

I don’t understand astro-physics.  I’m not sure I really understand how a fax machine works.  I don’t understand why people believe in invisible friends.

And I don’t understand why so many Americans are appalled at the prospect of 38 million more of their fellow citizens having access to healthcare cover.

Some of the discussions I’ve come across on the internet are full of amazing vitriol and abuse.  I was told,  when extolling the virtues of the British and Australian systems,  that it would be dreadful if people who are poor, or unemployed or (Heaven forbid) illegal immigrants had access to the same sort of healthcare that those who were working and/or rich had always had to pay for. 

I was asked what happens in England, for instance, if an illegal immigrant became sick . . . does the state give him healthcare?  I was tempted to reply “No, we just let them die on the streets then send a bill to their next of kin to cover the cost of shovelling them up”.  Of course we give immigrants, illegal or otherwise, access to medical facilities.   

Reading the comments today has left me bemused, if not downright angry.  “A sad day for America with the Federal Government taking over healthcare.”   And other such ill-informed rubbish.

I know there are millions of Americans who support this, and I know many Americans myself with very strong social consciences.  I just wish they would be a bit more vocal.